Skip to main content

Full text of "Bermuda Past And Present"

See other formats

Keep Your Card in This Pocket 

Books will be issued only on presentation of proper 
library cards. 

Unless labeled otherwise, boob may be retained 
for four weeks. Borrowers finding books marked, de- 
faced or mutilated are expected to report same at 
library desk; otherwise the last borrower will be held 
responsible for all imperfections discovered. 

The card holder is responsible for all books drawn 
on this card. 

Penalty for over-due books 2c a day plus cost of 

Lost cards and change of residence must be re- 
ported promptly. 

Public Library 

Kansas City, Mo. 

Keep Your Card in This Pockel 


Walter Rutherford 







No, ne'er did the wave in its element steep 
An island of lovelier charms* 



NEW YORK 1933 


COPYRIGHT, 1923, 1933 




fi '33 





IT is believed that this book is sufficiently com- 
prehensive to serve as a valuable guide to the 
Bermudas, now such a popular resort for Ameri- 
can travelers who desire to exchange the rigours 
of our northern winter for blue skies and a balmy 
atmosphere. All points of interest, picturesque, 
historical, legendary, have received ample atten- 
tion, while the reader is brought into contact with 
the characteristic pleasures of Bermuda life, the 
government and resources. In narrating the story 
of Bermuda's development from a proprietary set- 
tlement founded by the Virginia Company to a 
progressive colony with sound institutions, self- 
government and strong individuality, emphasis 
has been laid upon events which reveal the close 
historical bond existing between the islands and 
the United States. Heretofore this community 
of interest has received scant treatment from 
writers, much to the regret of American visitors ; 
indeed, all the dramatic incidents of Bermuda's 
part in the Civil War have been totally neglected, 
possibly because they are hidden in long-forgotten 
documents and personal narratives. It is hoped 
that repetition of some of these historic events 


will stimulate interest among Bermudians with re- 
gard to matters which were stern realities to the 
fathers and grandfathers of the present generation. 
The author has freely consulted Lefroy's " Me- 
morials " ; Williams's " History of Bermuda " ; 
"The Bermuda Islands," by Addison E. Verrill 
of Yale University ; George Watson Cole's " Ber- 
muda in Periodical Literature," a bibliography; 
" Official Records of the Union and Confederate 
Navies in the War of the Rebellion," diplomatic 
correspondence of the period, and other docu- 
ments issued by the governments of the United 
States and Bermuda. To many Bermudians, 
notably the Honourable Joseph Ming Hayward 
of St. George's, and Mr. Thomas M. Dill, M.C.P. 
of Devonshire, is the author indebted for valuable 
facts and the elucidation of obscure points. 


BERMUDA Past and Present was published in 
1910; a revised edition was issued in 1923; now 
for a second time the book has undergone exten- 
sive revision and expansion. The record has been 
amplified and a picture of the "new Bermuda" 
presented. The years particularly those of the 
last decade have wrought astonishing changes 
in Bermuda. To her shores has flowed an increas- 
ing tide of visitors. She has become a familar 
playground almost a week-end playground 
for Americans on holiday, and an international 
centre of scientific research; she is destined to 
become an oceanic airport for travellers flying 
the Atlantic. Once isolated, her isolation is com- 
pletely gone. Once relatively unknown, she is 
now widely known. She has felt the impact of 
modern life, yet she remains conservative, holding 
firmly to her British heritage and to fundamentals 
which have stood the test of time. 

In his task of revision, the author has been 
aided by many friends, and he desires particularly 
to acknowledge the kindness of the Honourable 
S. S. Spurling, C.M.G., O.B.E., M.C.P. of St. 
George's; Sir Henry W. Watlington, O.B.E., 


M.CJP, of Devonshire Parish; Mr. E, A. Mc- 
Callan, director of the Bermuda Agricultural 
Station; Mr. F. C. Misick, M.C.P. of Sandys; 
Mr. Louis L. Mowbray, Curator of the Bermuda 
Aquarium; Mr. Eldon EL Trimingham, M.C.P. of 
Pembroke ; Professor Edwin G. Conklin of Prince- 
ton University, President, and Dr. J. F. G. 
Wheeler, director of the Bermuda Biological Sta- 
tion for Research; Lieutenant-Commander H. B. 
Moorhead, UN., director of the Bermuda Meteor- 
ological Station; the Misses Rosalie and Lilian H. 
Hayward of St. George's, and Dr. James H. 
Kimball, meteorologist of the United States 
Weather Bureau at New York. 
December, 1932. 




II DISCOVERY -------- 6 



VI THE WAR OF 1812 AND AFTER - - 58 













Royal palms, straight and sturdy columns 


Facing page 
The ancient capital St. George's - - - - 16 

An alley in St. George's and the Tower of 
St. Peter's ---------- 24 

Cutting the stone that makes the Bermuda 
house ----------.-49 

Framed in cedar ---------64 

Coconut palms, graceful and lofty - - - 80 
The surf that beats upon Bermuda's shores 97 
A Paget road with a ceiling of leaves - - - 112 
Easter lilies in a characteristic setting - - 144 

Three modes of transport Front Street, 

Hamilton ---------- 152 

Somerset Bridge and Ely's Harbour - - 160 

An international race American and Ber- 
imidian yachts --------- 176 

Not a seaside battery, but a putting green - 192 
The luxe of sun and sand Elbow Beach - 216 
The c&pital Hamilton and its harbour - - 248 

Corals and anemones at the Bermuda 
Aquarium --.------ 264 





You sail from New York in a southeasterly direc- 
tion, traverse the warm and restless Gulf Stream, 
and in less than two days reacE that spot in the 
North Atlantic where 

" The remote Bermudas ride 
In Ocean's bosom unespied/* 

You are prepared for a creation in miniature 
if by chance some one has told you that the Ber- 
mudas were built by marine animals and the winds 
upon the peak of a submarine mountain, and in 
truth you find a tiny oasis, a clump of refreshing 
green, in a waste of shimmering water. And it 
seems, after due reflection, that Nature in her 
infinite goodness must have set these islands apart 
as a way-station for distressed mariners and 
clothed them in pleasing garb for the benefit 
of the traveller whose mind and eyes seek new 

Andrew Marvel chose a singularly appropriate 
phrase when he wrote in bygone days of the " re- 
mote Bermudas." Seven hundred nautical miles 
separate them from their chief neighbour, New 


York; five hundred and sixty-eight miles they lie 
from Cape Hatteras, the nearest point of the 
North American continent. Few islands are more 
supremely isolated, but their remoteness from 
other land is counterbalanced by their proximity 
to important trade routes, and so they constitute 
in the scheme of geographical distribution a haven 
of refuge for those who follow the sea and often 
are buffeted by elemental forces. 

Bermuda, to use the shorter term, calls to the 
deep, and its call extends also to shores whence 
men sail for pleasure. It has much that is quaint 
and beautiful to offer them. An archipelago of 
a hundred odd islands and rocks less than 
twenty square miles in all standing amid clear 
water of exquisite hues ; a place of fair skies and 
sunshine and flowers, blessed with an equable and 
salubrious climate, untouched by fog or frost, 
and wholly free from tropical fevers such in 
brief is Bermuda. On shore fairy-like scenery, 
caves of crystal, limestone roads white as bleached 
linen, curious trees and shrubs; in the water, 
gardens as luxuriant as those which lake their 
life from the soil, and a host of fishes, all coloured 
to correspond with the submarine growth which 
gives them food and a home. 

Nature has given Bermuda a wealth of varied 
pictures and enhanced their charm by a setting 


of repose. One cannot fail to be impressed by this 
distinctive characteristic. You leave ice, snow, 
dirt, noise, bustle, the glitter of wealth, the sor- 
didness of poverty, all the elements that combine 
to make the fascinating yet wearisome turmoil of 
New York, the Western metropolis, and in forty 
hours you find yourself in a pure and balmy 
atmosphere, a silent restful land, where modern 
progress has yet to remove the rust of antiquity 
and obliterate ideas of old-fashioned simplicity. 

The contrast does not end here. In Bermuda 
the effort to live is not hurried; you eat, drink, 
take your pleasure and perform your daily task 
in a normal manner. No factory whistles awaken 
you each morning, no chimneys pollute the air 
with pungent smoke; you are not the victim of 
milling street crowds or traffic jams, or red and 
green lights feverish symbols of the Machine 
Age. Therefore you are bound to move delib- 
erately, however rebellious your northern blood 
may be at first; but in the warm sunlight there 
are seductive germs of indolence, and to these 
you succumb. And it is better so, for, hav- 
ing succumbed, you assimilate Bermuda's worth 
and, incidentally, let its reposeful atmosphere as- 
similate you. 

It is therefore not difficult to understand why 
the colony is recommended especially to the person 


who is tired and nervous, run down in body and 
mind. Its tranquillity is soothing, and further- 
more it is remarkably free from repellent blem- 
ishes. That is to say, Bermuda does not offend 
the senses. It looks prosperous, well groomed, 
so to speak, and its people seem contented. You 
may travel through each of the nine parishes and 
fail to observe a single case of distressing pov- 
erty; neither will evidence of great wealth be 
apparent. Extremes rarely meet in Bermuda. Let 
it be said to the credit of this British colony, now 
three centuries old, that its poorest children are 
not ill-fed; that its humblest inhabitants do not 
live in filth and degradation, such as we of the 
cities know; and that even in homes where the 
absence of money is felt most keenly, the hand of 
hospitality is extended to the stranger. 

Because it is genuine, native hospitality is per- 
haps the colony's most wholesome social asset. 
The American visitor especially feels its influ- 
ence, but let him not gain the impression that 
the welcome he receives is actuated by the dollars 
which will fall from his pocket. No, his welcome 
has a deeper significance, to understand which he 
must turn back the pages of history and read 
of the days when Bermudians and Americans 
alike, all of the same blood, were struggling for 
a foothold on unfamiliar soil* 


When one co-ordinates and balances Bermuda's 
enchantments he finds them sufficient for all. To 
the health-seeker are given bright surroundings 
and a genial climate; to the holiday maker the 
pleasures of life in the open ; the artist lives among 
a wealth of suggestive material; botanist, zoolo- 
gist, and biologist in a natural treasure house; 
while before the geologist lies an open book of 
rock, telling its tale in stratification and fossilised 
remains. And even the philosopher will find in- 
terest in tracing reasons for the spirit of content- 
ment which distinguishes this little community. 



ONE cannot fail to observe in Bermuda a wider 
reflection of English life than is presented in the 
average British colony, and one does not seek 
far for the reason. Of pure English stock, the 
first settlers were obliged only to accommodate 
themselves to strange conditions and climate. 
Neither they nor their descendants were com- 
pelled by force of circumstance to depart from 
English ideals and customs, or to share their 
island home with alien races. Bermuda, in fact, 
has always been under British rule; never for a 
day has another flag waved over its fortifications 
as an emblem of dominance. 

Though England's control proved irksome and 
often tyrannical, particularly when the islands 
were exploited by a company of adventurers, only 
a few of the colonists found it desirable to seek 
a more congenial land. So the Bermuda of 
to-day is composed largely of families bearing the 
pioneer names, and each has its traditions, which 
form a part of the colony's history. 

Because Bermuda never passed from flag to 
flag, like many islands of the West Indies, its 


history can offer no tales of the old sea-fighters 
who roved the Caribbean in a malevolent manner 
and never lost an opportunity to loose their guns. 
Nevertheless, there is a certain element of romance 
in the discovery of the islands and their subse- 
quent neglect by the superstitious mariners who 
constantly passed and repassed them yet failed 
to land. 

Bermuda's name is taken from Juan de Ber- 
mudez, a Spaniard, who anchored his ship, La 
Garza (the Heron), within gunshot of the land 
in the year 1515. It is possible that he may have 
discovered the islands on a previous voyage, for 
they appear on a map published by Peter Martyr 
in 1511. Bermudez was carrying home to Spain 
Gonzales Ferdinando d' Oviedo, a distinguished 
historian, who wrote a brief account of his visit, 
the earliest description extant. He speaks of the 
" Island Bermuda, otherwise called Garza," as the 
furthest of all " that are found at this day in the 
world," but fails to indicate whether Bermudez 
had touched there before. Foul weather pre- 
vented Oviedo from landing hogs and exploring 
the islands as he had intended, and he sailed away 
with vivid recollections of the strange antics of 
myriads of seabirds, which found pleasure "and 
food in the chase of flying fishes. 

Not until 15S7 was a plan evolved for the 


settlement of the islands. In that year Her- 
nando Camelo, a Portuguese, received a commis- 
sion from King Philip of Spain to found a colony, 
but there is no evidence to show that he made use 
of his grant. Possibly Camelo was deterred by 
imaginary tales of evil which even then may have 
circulated regarding the islands. It is certain that 
such sailor's yarns they were nothing more 
passed from mouth to mouth in later years. In 
substance, they depicted Bermuda as an enchanted 
place, inhabited only by the spirits of darkness; 
a land visited frequently by tempests, thunder, 
and lightning, and bordered by hidden rocks, to 
approach which invited destruction. Thus it was 
that commanders of homeward-bound Spanish gal- 
leons gave the islands a wide berth, even though 
they followed the Gulf Stream to their latitude 
before laying an easterly course. 

These fables of supernatural inhabitants may 
have been concocted by buccaneers who possibly 
desired an undisturbed retreat on the Isles of the 
Devil, as Bermuda was popularly called, or they 
may have originated on account of disasters. 
At all events, the remnants of wrecks were ob- 
served when man settled in Bermuda, and there 
was found a mute token of an ancient inhabitant 
probably a castaway on the south shore, 
where, graven on Spanish Rock, (in Smith's Par- 


isK) were the mutilated initials F. T., followed by 
a cross and the date 1543. Local historians have 
attempted without success to connect this mono- 
gram with Camelo's name, but there is no reason 
to doubt the antiquity of the relic. 

The cross on Spanish Rock a warning against 
evil spirits it appears to have been illustrates 
the terror which had sunk into the hearts of sea- 
farers. Years passed, and although the Spaniards 
appreciated the value of Bermuda., the old super- 
stitions held' them at a distance. They did not 
fear to cross arms with men, but unseen wraiths 
were dangerous enemies. None cared to penetrate 
the veil of mystery which enshrouded the islands, 
and they remained in obscurity until Henry May, 
an Englishman, was cast away upon the reefs in 

May was a passenger on board a French ves- 
sel commanded by M. de la, Barbotiere, who left 
Laguna, in Hispaniola, on November 80. Seven- 
teen days later the pilots congratulated them- 
selves on being out of danger, so far as Bermuda 
was concerned, and demanded their " wine of 
height " a tipple given when a safe latitude was 
reached. They drank long and deep, discipline 
was relaxed, and at midnight the ship struck. 
Out of a company of fifty-odd men only twenty- 
six reached shore by boat and raft, May and the 
captain being among the survivors. 


The future activities of these men furnish an 
example of the ingenuity of sailors of their day. 
They saved carpenter's tools and tackle from the 
wreck, cut down cedar trees, sawed out planks, 
and built a seaworthy craft of eighteen tons, 
caulking her seams with a mixture of lime and 
turtle's oil, which hardened like cement. Fish, 
birds, turtles, and rain water sustained them, and 
they might have taken wild hogs had they so de- 
sired, for they saw many during their sojourn. 

On May 11, 1594, the party set sail, arriving 
at Cape Breton in nine days. About two months 
later May landed in England to recount his ex- 
periences. By a singular coincidence the feat in 
which he participated was to be duplicated several 
years afterward by a party of his own country- 
men; in the meantime Bermuda was to remain 
a habitation for seabirds and swine. 



CROSS the Market Square of quaint old St. George's 
Town and turn the corner into Kent Street it 
is merely a step to the Somers Garden. Just 
within the gate, on the left wall, is affixed a tablet 
commemorating a man described by Fuller as " a 
lamb on land, so patient that few could anger 
him, and (as if entering a ship he had assumed 
a new nature) a lion at sea so passionate that 
few could please him." The inscription reads: 













1876. 1 

Such is the brief record of an unselfish deec 
It is a becoming memorial, for the Admiral was 
a modest sailor. His personal narrative is a 
straightforward statement of fact without colour 
or suggestion of vainglory, but others have pre- 
served what Sir George Somers suppressed, and 
for detailed accounts of his resourcefulness in 
time of danger and after one must turn to the 
writings of William Strachy, Silvanus Jordan, 
and the famous John Smith, early historian of 
Virginia and Bermuda. 

It was on June S, 1609, that seven ships and 
two pinnaces, each having on board a goodly 
company of adventurers, sailed out of Plymouth 
Sound and laid a course for Virginia, the " infant 
plantation." The ship Sea Venture flew the flag 
of Sir George Somers, or Summers, as William 
Strachy, one of the members of the party, calls 
him, " a gentleman of approved assuredness and 

1 The late Major General J. H. Lefroy, R.A., C.B., F.R.S., 
honorary member of the New York Historical Society, whose 
"Memorials of the Bermudas" and other works are a monu- 
ment to his devotion to the colony's interests and to his ability 
AS a conscientious historian. 


ready knowledge in seafaring actions," and with the 
Admiral were Captain Newport and Sir Thomas 
Gates, the latter to act as Deputy Governor under 
Lord De La Warr. The fleet kept together until 
the twenty-third of July, when a gale sprang up 
and the pinnace which the Sea Venture had in tow 
was cast loose. By morning, a Monday, the ships 
had scattered, and the Sea Venture was fighting 
her lonely way through a West Indian hurricane. 

" Winds and seas were as mad as fury and rage 
could make them," writes Strachy. " Our clamours 
were drowned in the winds and the winds in thun- 
Jer. The sea swelled above the clouds and gave 
battle unto heaven. It could not be said to rain; 
the waters like whole rivers did flood the air." 

The working of the seas caused the Sea Venture 
to leak seriously, and soon she had nine feet of 
water in her hold. Sir George Somers took his 
station on the poop to advise the steersman and 
hold the vessel true to her course, while Sir 
Thomas Gates directed the efforts of passengers 
and crew. They thrust pieces of beef into the 
open seams in a vain attempt to check the inrush 
of water; they bailed, pumped, jettisoned cargo, 
ordnance, and luggage. Their galley fires went 
out ; their water casks were awash ; for three 
days and three nights the men laboured incessantly 
without food or sleep, the Sea Venture plunging 


forward under bare spars and always settling 
deeper. Once a huge wave swept her decks and 
she faltered, apparently about to founder, but, 
recovering, she laboured onward, a battered wraith 
of a ship, with timbers strained beyond measure. 

On the night of Thursday St. Elmo's Fire 
made its appearance, " like a faint star/ 5 says 
Strachy, " trembling and streaming along with 
a sparkling blaze, half the height upon the main- 
mast, and shooting sometimes from shroud to 
shroud. At which, Sir George Somers called 
divers about him and showed them the same, who 
observed it with much wonder and carefulness; 
but upon a sudden, towards the morning, they 
lost sight of it and knew not what way it made." 

That was their last night of suffering. Early 
next day, July 28, when the end seemed only a 
matter of hours, Sir George Somers, who had 
never left his post, descried land a few miles 
distant. The ship was worked into shallow 
water and lodged between two shoals, her re- 
puted resting-place appearing on the charts of 
to-day as Sea Venture Flat. Sunset saw the 
whole company of one hundred and forty men 
and women on the shores of the thickly- wooded 
island that was subsequently to bear the name 
St. George's. Speaking of this event, an anony- 
mous writer says: 


" These islands o the Bermudas have ever been 
accounted an enchanted pile of rocks, and a desert 
habitation for devils; but all the fairies of the 
rocks were but flocks of birds, and all the devils 
that haunted the woods were but herds of swine. 
Our people in the Bermudas found such abun- 
dance of hogs that for nine months' space they 
plentifully sufficed, and yet the number seemed not 
diminished." 1 

Tools, sails, arms, cables, boats, and stores 
were recovered from the Sea Venture, and the 
castaways dug wells and built cabins, which they 
thatched with palmetto leaves. The palmetto 
and cedar furnished them with berries, and in 
addition to hogs the islands provided an un- 
limited supply of fishy turtles, water birds, and 
prickly pears. After a time it was decided to 
communicate, if possible, with Virginia. To this 

1 These animals may have been the offspring of hogs that 
escaped from wrecked vessels, but it is possible that the islands 
were stocked by far-seeing pirates. When the Bermudas came 
under control of the company organised for their settlement, 
the memory of the abundance of hogs was perpetuated by the 
issuing of what the proprietors called a "base coyne." This is 
known to numismatists as "hog money." It was a crude and 
imperfectly stamped piece. On the obverse side were the words 
"* Sommer Islands " and a wild boar, with the Roman numerals 
over it, and on the reverse appeared a ship under sail, having 
the Cross of St. George at each masthead. The number of coins 
was limited. Only a few are in the possession of Bennudian 
families and foreign collectors. All are held at high figures. 


end the long boat was fitted with a deck made 
from the ship's hatches and provided with sails 
and oars. Carrying a crew of seven men in com- 
mand of Henry Raven, this little craft cleared 
the reefs on September 1 and reached the open 
sea, to pursue her perilous voyage. Raven prom- 
ised to return as quickly as possible, and by pre- 
arrangement beacon fires were lighted on the 
headlands so that he might be guided to a safe 
anchorage. But the plucky sailors went to an 
unknown death, and after two months elapsed the 
adventurers lost hope of receiving help from the 

The construction of a vessel was begun by 
Richard Frubbusher, a shipwright, probably at 
the little cove called Buildings Bay, within a 
short distance of the Town Cut Channel, at the 
eastern end of St. George's Island; but Sir 
George Somers, knowing that this craft would not 
be of sufficient size to accommodate all hands, 
decided to build a pinnace, and asked Sir Thomas 
Gates for workmen. His request was readily 
granted, but the spirit of discontent manifested 
itself, and the Governor faced three successive 
conspiracies against his rule, the last being so 
serious that he summarily shot one of the plotters. 
The remainder fled to the woods, but all save two 
Christopher Carter and Edward Waters re- 


turned upon receiving a promise of immunity 
from punishment, and thereafter the work pro- 
ceeded without interruption. Both vessels were 
constructed largely of native cedar and caulked 
with oakum, pitch, and tar, and lime and turtle's 

Frubbusher's craft was launched on March 30, 
1610, and named the Deliverance. She was forty 
feet by the keel, nineteen feet in breadth, and of 
about eighty tons 5 burden. A month later Somers 
launched the Patience, a pinnace of thirty tons, 
nine and twenty feet long and fifteen and a half 
feet at the beam. The location of the Admiral's 
shipyard is unknown, although it may have been 
at a bay in St. George's Harbour. 

" Before we quitted our old quarter/ 5 writes 
Strachy, " and dislodged to the fresh water with 
our pinnace, our governor set up in Sir George 
Somers's garden a fair Mnemosynon in figure of 
a cross, made of some of ti^e timber of our ruined 
ship, which was screwed in with strong and great 
trunnels to a mighty cedar, which grew in the 
midst of the said garden, and whose top and upper 
branches he caused to be lopped, that the violence 
of the wind and weather might have the less power 
over her. 

" In the midst of the cross our governor fastened 
the picture of his majesty in a piece of silver of 


twelve pence, and on each side of the cross he set 
an inscription graven in copper, in the Latin and 
English,, to this purpose : 4 In memory of our great 
Deliuerance, both from a mightie storme and leake : 
wee have set up this to the honour of God. It is 
the spoyle of an English ship of three hundred 
tunne, called the Sea Venture, bound with seuen 
ships more (from which the storme diuided us) 
to Virginia, or Noua Britania, in America. In 
it were two Knights, Sir Thomas Gates, Knight, 
Gouvernour of the English Forces and Colonie 
there : and Sir George Summers, Knight, Admirall 
of the Seas. Her Captaine -was Christopher New- 
port, Passengers and Mariners, shee had beside 
(which came all safe to Land) one hundred and 
fiftie. We were forced to runne her ashore (by 
reason of her leake) under a Point that bore 
Southeast from the Northerne Point of the Island, 
which wee discovered first the eight and twentieth 
of July 1609.' " * 

Having spent nine months in Bermuda, the 
expedition continued its voyage on May 10, 1610, 
arriving at Jamestown on the twenty-fourth. The 
tiny settlement was on the verge of starvation, 
and although the newcomers were able to relieve 

1 Other accounts say the fleet consisted of nine vessels, and 
that the Sea Venture had but one hundred and forty souls on 
board. Two children were born in the course of the sojourn 
and five of the company were buried. 


the distress, their stock of provisions was suffi- 
cient only for two weeks. Accordingly, the Ad- 
miral and Governor decided to abandon the colony 
and take the people to Newfoundland. They had 
actually embarked and were sailing down the river 
when Lord De La Warr arrived with three ships. 
Jamestown was again peopled, and Sir George 
Somers volunteered to return to Bermuda for a 
supply of hogs and fishes. On the nineteenth of 
June he set sail in his own cedar pinnace, in com- 
pany with a vessel commanded by Captain Argall. 
They met fog and rough weather, were driven out 
of their course, and Argall returned to Virginia. 
Somers continued and reached Bermuda in safety. 
But the Admiral's strength did not answer to 
this last gallant effort, and he died at the age 
of fifty-sis in the town which bears his name. 
Irreverent persons have said that ** a surfeit of 
roast pig " caused his death ; nevertheless, his 
last thoughts were of the suffering plantation* 
He counselled his followers to return to Virginia, 
but instead of heeding his dying injunction the 
Admiral's nephew, Captain Matthew Somers, who 
had assumed command, embalmed the body and 
sailed for England, leaving the heart buried at 
St. George's. The grave was marked by a wooden 
cross, which Governor Butler replaced in 1619 
by a marble slab bearing this inscription: 


" IN THE YEAR 1611 

Whose well-tried worth that held him still imploid 
Gave him the knowledge of the world so wide; 
Hence 't was by Heaven's decree that to this place 
He brought new guests and name to mutual grace; 
At last his soul and body being to part, 
He here bequeathed his entrails and his heart." 

The Admiral died in 1610, and poetic license 
was invoked to meet the rhyme. Butler's tablet a 
disappeared long ago, and the exact location of 
the grave is unknown, although it was probably 
not far from the spot where the memorial of 1876 
stands. The Admiral was buried with military 
honours at Whitechurch, Dorsetshire, where in the 
ancient Church of St. Candida and Holy Cross 
his long-neglected grave was marked in 1908 by 
a tablet engraved with these words : 






Erected ly public subscription, 1908. 

1 Butler's tablet may have been stolen and built into one of 
the numerous brick ovens in the town. 



CAPTAIN SOMERS'S return aroused so much in- 
terest with respect to the Bermudas that the 
Virginia Company determined to colonise them, 
although its charter did not extend to islands 
more than one hundred miles from the shores of 
its plantation. By an amendment in 1612 the 
limit was increased to three hundred leagues, and, 
says Lefroy, " in spite of remonstrances from the 
Spaniards that they only had hy Papal bull the 
inheritance of the Indies, the merchants of Lon- 
don proceeded to appropriate the forsaken dis- 
covery of Juan Bermudez with as little hesitation 
as they showed in advancing their plantations in 
Florida and Virginia. 55 

The new plantation was first called Virginiola, 
but the name Somers Islands (it is still retained 
on official documents) was finally selected for the 
two-fold purpose of paying respect to the Ad- 
mira?s memory and annunciating Bermuda's cli- 
mate. Richard Moore, a ship 5 s carpenter, headed 
the first band of settlers, fifty in number, who 
sailed in the Plough, and arrived at the islands 
on July 11, 1612. To their surprise they were 


greeted by three forlorn and ragged men, 
Christopher Carter, Edward Waters, and Edward 
Chard, the " three kings" as they are called 
by Washington Irving. Carter and Waters were 
the recalcitrants who remained in hiding when the 
wrecked adventurers took their departure for Vir- 
ginia, and Cliard, one of Captain Somers's crew, 
joined them in voluntary exile at the time the 
Captain sailed for home. The " three kings " act- 
ually represented British sovereignty, and they 
lived peacefully as farmers and fishermen until 
they discoTered a quantity of ambergris. This 
sudden acquisition of wealth created such dissen- 
sion that Chard and Waters agreed to fight a 
duel. But they reckoned without Carter, 1 who 
surreptitiously hid their arms, preferring two 
living enemies instead of none. For two full years 
the men dragged out a lonely existence, and they 
had resolved to build a boat and embark for Vir- 
ginia when the Plough appeared in the offing. 

Moore quartered his company at Smith's Island, 
soon moving across the harbour to St. George's, 
where he laid the foundations of the town. By 
successful diplomacy and a show of authority 
he acquired most of the ambergris, and he was 

1 Samuel Carter, a fisherman, and a direct descendant of 
Christopher, died at St. George's in 1858. His fishing tackle, 
the old man's only possession, was placed in his coffin by the 
author's father for use at a happier hunting ground. 


shrewd enough to realise that in this valuable 
commodity he had a "loadstone," as John Smith 
aptly expresses it, which would draw ships, sup- 
plies, and additional settlers from England. De- 
spite the proprietors' orders, he shipped the am- 
bergris in separate consignments, thereby exciting 
their avarice and compelling them to reinforce 
him several times. Moore's explicit instructions 
to erect fortifications retarded the development of 
agriculture to such an extent that many of the 
colonists were ill-fed and suffered from a disease 
called by John Smith " the feagues." 

The Bermudas remained under the Virginia 
Company's 1 jurisdiction but a few months, for 
they were transferred on November 5, 1612, to 
a new company composed of members of the old 
one. These owners assigned their rights to the 
Crown on November S3, 1614, and on June 9, 
1615, James I granted a charter to one hundred 
and seventeen adventurers under the title of " The 
Governor and Company of the City of London 
for the Plantacon of the Somers Islands." About 
this time Moore 2 became dissatisfied with the 

1 In consideration of the small area of Bermuda the Virginia. 
Company agreed to make a grant of land in Virginia toward the 
support of the islands, and the arrangement, Lefroy says, is 
commemorated by the name Bermuda Hundred, Chesterfield 
County, Va. 

2 Governor Moore retired to the Streights or Bermudas, io. 
London, to escape his creditors. These obscure courts and alleys 


manner in which those at home had treated him, 
and he departed, leaving the administration in 
the hands of six commissioners who, in turn, were 
superseded by Daniell Tucker, a Virginia planter, 
the first Governor under the Bermuda Company. 
Tucker sought to develop good husbandry, but 
he was thwarted by an overwhelming plague of 
rats, which destroyed the crops and fruits and 
ravaged the islands for two years, leaving desti- 
tution in their path. The rats were supposed to 
have been imported with a cargo of meal. 

In 1618 Richard Norwood began his survey 
of the islands, dividing them into eight tribes, 
and assigning to each adventurer his share or 
proportion of land a proceeding which enabled 
the orderly disposition of property. The public 
lands, which were devoted to the maintenance of 
the G-overnor, sheriff, clergy, and commanders of 
forts, included St. George's, St. Bavid's, Long- 
bird, Smith's, Cooper's, Coney, and Nonsuch 
Islands, part of the Main, and other islets at the 
eastern end, nearly one seventh part of all the 
land in the colony. 

Each tribe contained fifty parts or shares, and 
they were called Bedford's, now Hamilton, Parish ; 
Smith's, Cavendish, now Devonshire ; Pembroke, 

were frequented by debtors, bullies, and others of their ilk, whjse 
"very trade is borrowing,'* says Bea Jonson in "Bartholomew 


Faget, MansiPs, now Warwick ; Southampton and 

It would be impossible to relate within a small 
compass the detailed history of the plantation 
under proprietary rule. The colonists were 
granted a measure of self-government almost 
from the outset. A .General Assembly met at 
St. George's on August 1, 16&Q, and there was 
another body called the General Sessions. " Twice 
every year each tribe sent six men, chosen by 
themselves, to the General Sessions," says Lefroy 
in his " Constitutional History of the Bermudas," 
" and every alternate year they sent four men to 
the General Assembly ; it is difficult to say which 
of the two bodies had the more important influ- 
ence. The General Assembly * had the making of 
Laws and Orders for the particular necessities 
and occasions of the Islands,' but upon the grand 
jury devolved the tremendous power of present- 
ment without indictment for any matters or of- 
fences within their knowledge or observation ; and 
it is easy to see what an opening for scandals and 
petty persecutions was afforded by it." All acts 
passed by the Assembly were subject to ratifica- 
tion by the company, but, as Lefroy further re- 
marks, " if the colonists had in some sense repre- 
sentative institutions from the first, they were such 
as afforded no security against fiscal exactions." 


Indeed, the proprietors conducted an oppressive 
monopoly. A few of them emigrated to Bermuda 
and lived on their shares, but the majority re- 
mained in England and permitted the colonists, 
their tenants, to cultivate tobacco, the staple crop, 
as halvers; that is, half of their products paid 
the rent of the land they tilled. 

"Tobacco is the worst of things, which they 
To English landlords, as their tribute, pay. 
Such is the mould that the blest tenant feeds 
On precious fruits, and pays his rent in weeds." 

By the terms of the company's charter the 
colonists were to be freed from taxation for seven 
years, and for fourteen years their products were 
to enter the ports of England under a duty of 
only five per cent, and, " after the expiration of 
twenty-one years, were to be charged only accord- 
ing to the books of rates and according to the 
ancient trade of merchants." In practice these 
conditions were openly disregarded, and long be- 
fore the seven years elapsed the inhabitants had 
petitioned the King for relief from " excessive 
rates of goods yearly sent over by them," the 
proprietors, who compelled the purchase of neces- 
sities from the company's depot at exorbitant 
prices. Tobacco being the only medium of ex- 
change, this system of polite extortion, combined 


with impositions of fines and taxes, furnished the 
means by which the company kept its servants in 
poverty. Moreover, the inhabitants were per- 
mitted to trade only with vessels sent out by the 
company, a rule combated by several of its 
members, and they were forbidden to have com- 
mercial intercourse with other American colonies ; 
neither were they allowed to build ships. Denial 
of the right to engage in whaling, except by special 
commission, was another source of grievance. 

Those glowing tales of Bermuda's resources 
which were accepted without question in England 
before the process of colonisation began proved 
to be largely fictitious. " Ambergris," as Lefroy 
explains, " was not c driven ashore by every storm 
where the wind bloweth.' The abundance of turtle, 
fish, and fowl came to an end." And what was 
even worse, tobacco never realised the profit ex- 
pected of it. The Virginia article was far supe- 
rior in quality, and what competition failed to do 
in the way of crushing the Bermuda grower was 
accomplished by the heavy imposts levied in Lon- 
don on his output. Tobacco never brought him 
more than two shillings and sixpence a pound, 
and its value finally declined to a point where the 
profit was inappreciable. 

The position of the various governors, who 
came and went frequently, was uncomfortable* to 


say the least. Dependent themselves upon the 
uncertain products of the public lands, and urged 
constantly to show results, financial results, from 
the colony as a whole, they threw the oppressive 
burden upon the people. Many of the colonists 
were sturdy and industrious, but others, men and 
women alike, came from London slums and jails. 
Lazy, shiftless, and morally depraved, these worth- 
less inhabitants had ample opportunity to satisfy 
their desire for intoxicants, thanks to the regular 
supplies brought out by the company's ships. 
Under the circumstances, harsh measures on the 
part of the governors were inevitable. Men were 
executed for minor offences, and the stocks, the 
branding iron, and the lash found victims innu- 
merable. The company's laws spared not even 
the innocent. Children of parents who had died 
in debt were sold into bondage, apprentices were 
virtually slaves, and there are records of adult 
colonists who lived in servitude. 

As the colony grew older, it passed through the 
same social, political, and ecclesiastical struggles 
which beset England in the seventeenth century. 
Its population included many elements and faiths. 
Scotch and Irish prisoners of war were sent thither 
as convicts at large ; Anglicans, Royalists, Round- 
heads, Independents, Quakers, Brownists, Ana- 
baptists, and Presbyterians were represented in 


varying numbers, and each sect and political fac- 
tion had its dissensions and feuds. Secessions from 
the Established Church took place early in the 
colony's history, and though freedom of religious 
worship was frequently demanded, this laudable 
desire did not deter the Independents and others 
from persecuting their weaker brethren, particu- 
larly the Quakers, whose attempts to educate the 
negro slaves met with holy disapproval. 

A dramatic episode occurred when news reached 
Bermuda, in 1649, of the execution of Charles I ? 
and the establishment by Oliver Cromwell of the 
Commonwealth of England. The native Royalists 
not only acknowledged Charles II to be their sov- 
ereign, but they rose in arms, elected one John 
Trimingham to the office of governor, and banished 
the more influential Independents, sending these 
so-called followers of the Commonwealth to the 
island of Eleutheria, where, in 1646, Captain 
William Sayle of Bermuda had founded a Utopian 
plantation in which "every man might enjoy his 
own opinion or religion without control or ques- 
tion." In 1650 Parliament declared Bermuda to 
be in a state of rebellion, but as no attempt was 
made to reduce the colony to submission the in- 
habitants did not swear allegiance to the Common- 
wealth until after the surrender of Barbadoes 
another rebellious colony in 1652. 


Coincident with the rise of Puritanism came a 
change in the personnel of the company, which, 
however, lost none of its privileges. Amnesty was 
granted to the native Royalists, and the banished 
Independents were recalled from Eleutheria, that 
colony having proved such a failure as to call forth 
the sympathy of the Massachusetts churches, whose 
congregations collected some 800 to supply its 

A marked deterioration in the social and public 
life of Bermuda had its origin under Puritan rule 
with the sudden manifestation of a belief in witch- 
craft. Indiscreet actions and utterances of simple- 
minded men and women were enough to provoke 
indictments for sorcery, and several unfortunate 
persons suffered the penalty of death after notably 
unfair trials. Such persecution in which, by 
the way, the clergy took no part, as they did in 
New England continued at intervals for a period 
of forty-odd years. Social demoralisation became 
more pronounced during the reign of Charles II, 
and extended to the negro slaves, whose number 
had greatly increased since their advent in 1616. 
It is worthy of note that the Indians who were 
captured in the Pequod and Sachem Philip wars 
in New England and sold in Bermuda, as well as 
those brought from the West Indies, gave little or 
no trouble, but the negroes organised several 


formidable conspiracies, which resulted in severe 
measures against their lawlessness. 

In justice to the proprietors it must be said that 
they established schools and endeavoured to pro- 
mote the moral welfare of the colonists, in so far as 
it was compatible with their interests. Some of 
their laws, especially those designed to conserve the 
cedar, contained much wisdom, but avarice and 
the ignorance of tyranny were the most conspicu- 
ous features of administration, and the logical 
result came to pass. While the colony was demon- 
strating itself to be an unprofitable venture, the 
planters were enabled to purchase the acres they 
tilled, and gradually the company's property, ex- 
cepting the public lands, was alienated. As the 
tenants became freemen, they openly defied the 
company and refused to obey its laws, taking ad- 
vantage at the same time of its declining influence 
to press their claims for relief in England. Their 
side of the case was conducted with irresistible 
vigour, and at last, in 1684, the Court of King's 
Bench abolished the company through quo war- 
ranto proceedings, Bermuda entering upon a new 
era as a colony of the Crown. 



DTJEING the last ten years of the Bermuda Com- 
pany's existence the Assembly was not permitted 
to meet, owing to its opposition to the high-handed 
method of government, but the Crown re-established 
this representative body and sessions were resumed 
on June 6, 1687. Some of the oppressive restric- 
tions were thereupon removed; in fact, the colo- 
nists were left to develop their resources without 
surveillance, the home government going so far 
as to neglect to send out gunpowder or ordnance 
in the period between 1701 and 1738. The Ber- 
mudians were not slow to desert their unprofitable 
farms and take a living from the sea, building 
small ships of cedar and finding employment for 
them. As early as 1678 some of the more enter- 
prising inhabitants carried their slaves to Turk's 
Island and engaged in the manufacture of salt. 
This lucrative trade was conducted in the winter 
months, the salt rakers storing their product in 
Bermuda and later, when the weather was fa^ 
vourable, taking it to Virginia, Maryland, Pennsyl- 
vania, New York, and New England, receiving in 
exchange corn, bread, flour, pork, and lumber. 


Before the salt season opened it was customary 
for the traders to carry quantities of cabbages and 
onions to the West Indies, returning with rum, 
molasses, and cotton, the last-named product fur- 
nishing them with the greater part of their apparel. 

The salt trade continued without interference 
until the rakers were driven away by Spaniards in 
1710. By force of arms the Bermudians regained 
possession of the ponds, and thereafter they main- 
tained armed vessels for the protection of their 
industry. In the reign of George II the French 
landed and declared their right to Turk's Island, 
but were induced to withdraw peacefully; and 
again in 1764 they descended on the salt rakers, 
destroyed their buildings and effects, and took a 
number of them captive to Cape Francis. The 
French, however, were compelled to give up the 
ponds and pay an indemnity, and the trade was 

From men of their own blood, too, the Ber- 
mudians suffered indignities and losses. In 1768 
Captain Robert Gregory of H. M. S. Scarborough 
seized the cargoes of some twenty Bermuda vessels 
at Tortugas, where Bermudians had been making 
salt for fifty years. There was no warrant for 
Gregory's act; apparently he was paid for his 
work by captains of merchant ships under convoy 
of his own ; but the Bermudians obtained little or 



no redress in this instance. At that time some 
seven hundred and fifty Bermudians were employed 
at Turk's Island, and they desired the annexation 
of the colony to their own, owing to their fear 
that the trade might be lost, as well as the atti- 
tude of the government of the Bahamas, which was 
imposing heavy taxes and undue restrictions upon 
the salt rakers under pretence of superior juris- 
diction. Strong representations were made to 
the Lords of Trades and Plantations on this 
point, the Bermudians asserting their rights as 
colonisers and recalling a former decision which 
had given them the freedom of the ponds. 

For thirty years the matter was held in abey- 
ance, then Turk's Island was granted to the Ba- 
hamas ; but long before that event the Bermudians 
had established themselves as the principal carriers 
in the coastwise and West Indian trade of the 
North American provinces. They were the origi- 
nal colonisers under the British government of the 
Bahamas, and in 1701 endeavoured to obtain legal 
control of them, pointing to the fact that five hun- 
dred "lusty young fellows," natives of Bermuda, 
who had gone to the West Indies to earn a living, 
would speedily repair to the new possession and 
settle it permanently. Not receiving a favourable 
reply and being annoyed by a nest of pirates who 
made the Bahamas their rendezvous, the Bermuda 


government sent out an expedition in 1713 and 
cleared the islands of these worthies. 

At home also the people had to fight for the 
protection of their shipping. In 1720 Captain 
Joell in the sloop Devonshire attacked and dis- 
abled a large Spanish ship, heavily armed, and in 
1741 a Spanish privateer, which had boldly landed 
prisoners on one of the islands, was pursued by 
two native sloops. At this time Bermuda priva- 
teers brought in many French prisoners, the 
number of which increased to such an extent in 
1745 that they proved a burdensome expense to 
the colony, and measures were adopted for their 
transportation. The people were so much con- 
cerned by the appearance of two French privateers 
in 1761 that the ship Royal Ann and brigantine 
Sally were hastily fitted to drive them away, an 
embargo being laid on shipping until the outcome 
of the cruise was learned. Though the expedition 
was successful, the enemy returned after a time 
and made many captures almost in sight of land, 
the government being too poor to keep armed 
vessels constantly in commission. 

So engrossed were the people in maritime pur- 
suits that little or no attention was paid to agricul- 
ture. The whites actually looked upon farming 
as a degrading occupation; they trained their 
active men slaves to be mechanics and sailors, leav- 


Ing the tillage of land to incompetent negroes and 
aged women, whose implements were of the crudest 
type. This short-sighted policy made the people 
dependent upon America for three quarters of 
the supplies necessary for their subsistence, and 
brought about its punishment in due time. Twice 
in 1756 Gov. William Popple petitioned the Pro- 
vincial Congress of Pennsylvania for permission 
to import foodstuffs, and when the outbreak of the 
American Revolution led to the prohibition of trade 
and intercourse with the mainland after Septem- 
ber 10, 1775, the Bermudians faced extremities 
which afforded a severe test of their loyalty to the 
Crown. The Assembly passed a law to prevent 
the exportation of corn, wheat, barley, rice, beans, 
flour, etc., and fixed prices for these commodities, 
but this was insufficient to stave off the prospects 
of famine. Provisions could not be obtained from 
Great Britain because the people had no staple 
with which to purchase them ; productions of the 
unprohibited colonies were sufficient only for them- 
selves; the one alternative was an appeal to the 
magnanimity of the Americans in revolt. 

Exigencies of the situation naturally influenced 
the islanders. Members and friends of Bermuda 
families living in America had joined the cause of 
freedom in the field, the colony's commerce was in 
danger of annihilation; and a third consideration 


was the urgent necessity for food. To quote 
from an address of the Legislature to the Crown : 

" Self preservation gave the alarm, and in such 
an exigency there was no alternative but an appli- 
cation to the American Congress, setting forth 
the situation of the island and requesting a dis- 
pensation of that resolve in favour of a people 
who without their aid must inevitably perish, or a 
submission to all the horrors of famine and general 
distress. When such motives (and such alone) in- 
fluenced their conduct, the inhabitants of Bermuda 
assured themselves that the Father of His People 
would not take umbrage at a measure dictated by 
the most powerful and irresistible law of nature. 
The people therefore imprest with those sentiments 
deputed some persons from the several parishes 
to make application for that purpose in May, 
1775. At that time we scarcely knew of the dawn- 
ing of civil war and cherished hopes that it might 
still be prevented from breaking out by an amicable 
and honourable reconciliation. Altho' this pleas- 
ing hope has been blasted by the event, yet we 
flatter ourselves that your Majesty will regard 
with a favourable eye a measure which if repro- 
bated by the malevolence of some y or the misinfor- 
mation and ignorance of others, was yet dictated 
by necessity, the most urgent of human incentives." 

Congress replied to the petition by intimating 


that the Bermudians would receive supplies if 
they brought firearms and ammunition to America. 
Logical reasons prompted this answer. The Revo- 
lutionary army was in immediate need of powder, 
and General Washington had been apprised of the 
existence of a magazine in Bermuda, the contents 
of which he naturally coveted. Accordingly, on 
August 4, 1775, when in camp at Cambridge, 
Mass., the General wrote a letter to Governor 
Cooke of Rhode Island in which he said : 

" Our necessities in the articles of powder and 
lead are so great as to require an immediate sup- 
ply. I must earnestly entreat, you will fall upon 
such measures to forward every pound of each in 
the colony, which can possibly be spared. It is 
not within the propriety or safety of such a cor- 
respondence to say what I might upon this sub- 
ject. It is sufficient, that the case calls loudly for 
the most strenuous exertions of every friend of 
his country, and does not admit of the least de- 
lay. No quantity, however small, is beneath 
notice, and should any arrive, I beg it may be 
forwarded as soon as possible. 

" But a supply of this land is so precarious, not 
only from the danger of the enemy, but the oppor- 
tunity of purchasing, that I have revolved in my 
mind every other possible chance and listened to 
every proposition on the subject, which could give 


the smallest hope. Among others, I have had one 
mentioned, which has some weight with me, as well 
as the general officers to whom I have proposed 
it. One Harris has lately come from Bermuda, 
where there is a very considerable magazine in a 
remote part of the island; and the inhabitants 
well disposed not only to our cause in general, but 
to assist in this enterprise in particular. We un- 
derstand there are two armed vessels in your 
province, commanded by men of known activity 
and spirit ; one of which it is proposed to despatch 
on this errand with such assistance as may be 
requisite. Harris is to go along as the conductor 
of the enterprise, and to avail ourselves of his 
knowledge of the island; but without any com- 
mand. I am very sensible, that at first view the 
project may appear hazardous and its success 
must depend on the concurrence of many circum- 
stances ? but we are in a situation which requires 
us to run all risks. No danger is to be considered, 
when put in competition with the magnitude of 
the cause, and the absolute necessity of increasing 
our stock. Enterprises which appear chimerical, 
often prove successful from that very circum- 
stance. Common sense and prudence will suggest 
vigilance and care, where the danger is plain and 
obvious ; but, where little danger is apprehended, 
the more the enemy will be unprepared, and con- 


sequently there is the fairest prospect of 

The plan was approved by Governor Cooke and 
the Rhode Island Committee, and Captain Abra- 
ham Whipple agreed to engage in the affair on 
condition that General Washington gave written 
assurance that he would use his influence with the 
Continental Congress to permit the exportation of 
supplies to Bermuda, provided the Bermudians 
assisted the Captain. Another letter sent by Wash- 
ington to Governor Cooke reveals the General's 
intimate knowledge of the Bermudians' temper. 
On August 14 Washington wrote that " our Ne- 
cessity is great; the Expectation of being sup- 
plied by the Inhabitants of the Islands under such 
hazards as they must run are slender, so that the 
only Chance of Success is by a sudden Strike. 
There is a great difference between acquiescing in 
the Measure and becoming Principals ; the former 
we have reason to expect, the latter is doubtful." 

On September 6 Washington suggested to Cooke 
the seizure of the mail packet from England and 
said : " If the vessel proposed to go to Bermudas 
should cruise for a few days off Sandy Hook, I 
have no doubt she would fall in with her." The 
same day this letter was written, Washington 
penned the following address to the Inhabitants of 
the Island of Bermuda : 


" GESTTI/EMEST, In the great conflict, which 
agitates this continent, I cannot doubt but the as- 
sertors of freedom and the right of the constitu- 
tion are possessed of your most favourable regards 
and wishes for success. As descendants of free- 
men, and heirs with us of the same glorious in- 
heritance, we flatter ourselves, that, though divided 
by our situation, we are firmly united in sentiment. 
The cause of virtue and liberty is confined to no 
continent or climate. It comprehends, within its 
capacious limits, the wise and good, however dis- 
persed and separated in space and distance. 

" You need not be informed, that the violence 
and rapacity of a tyrannic ministry have forced 
the citizens of America, your brother colonists into 
arms. We equally detest and lament the prev- 
alence of those counsels, which have led to the 
effusion of so much human blood, and left us no 
alternative but a civil war, or a base submission. 
The wise Disposer of all events has hitherto smiled 
upon our virtuous efforts. Those mercenary 
troops, a few of whom lately boasted of subju- 
gating this vast continent, have been checked in 
their earliest ravages, and are now actually en- 
circled in a small space, their arms disgraced, and 
suffering all the calamities of a siege. The virtue, 
spirit, and union of the provinces leave them nothing 
to fear, but the want of ammunition. The appli- 


cation of our enemies to foreign states, and their 
vigilance upon our coasts, are the only efforts 
they have made against us with success. Under 
these circumstances, and with these sentiments, we 
have turned our eyes to you. Gentlemen, for re- 
lief. We are informed, there is a very large maga- 
zine on your island under a very feeble guard. 
We would not wish to involve you in an opposition, 
in which, from your situation, we should be unable to 
support you ; we know not, therefore, to what ex- 
tent to solicit your assistance in availing ourselves 
of this supply ; but, if your favour and friendship 
to North America and its liberties have not been 
misrepresented, I persuade myself you may, con- 
sistently with your own safety, promote and 
further the scheme, so as to give it the fairest pros- 
pect of success. Be assured that in this case the 
prhole power and exertion of my influence will be 
nade with the honourable Continental Congress, 
iiat your island may not only be supplied with 
provisions, but experience every mark of affection 
md friendship, which the grateful citizens of a 
ree country can bestow on its brethren and 

Captain Whipple sailed on September 12 in the 
irger of the Rhode Island vessels, having instruc- 
lons to cruise off New York fourteen days with 


the purpose of intercepting the English mail 
packet. If the vessel did not appear in that time, 
he was to proceed to Bermuda. 

" But he had scarcely sailed from Providence 
before an account appeared in the newspapers of 
one hundred barrels of powder having been taken 
from Bermuda by a vessel supposed to be from 
Philadelphia, and another from South Carolina. 
The facts were such as to make it in the highest 
degree probable that this was the same powder 
which Captain Whipple had gone to procure. 
General Washington and Governor Cooke were 
both of opinion that it was best to countermand 
his instructions. The other armed vessel of Rhode 
Island was immediately despatched in search of 
the captain with orders^ that, when he had fin- 
ished the cruise in search of the packet, he should 
return to Providence. But it was too late. Cap- 
tain Whipple had heard of the arrival of the 
packet at New York, and had proceeded on his 
voyage to Bermuda. 

" He put in at the west end of the island. The 
inhabitants were at first alarmed, supposing him 
to command a King's armed vessel, and the women 
and children fled into the country; but when he 
showed his commission and instructions they 
treated him with cordiality and friendship. They 
had assisted in removing the powder, which was 
made known to General Gasre, and he had sent a 


sloop of war to take away all superfluous provis- 
ions from the island. They professed themselves 
hearty friends to the American Cause, but as 
Captain Whipple was defeated in the object of his 
voyage he speedily returned to Providence." 
(Governor Cooke's MS. letters, from "The 
Writings of George Washington," vol. Ill, by 
Worthington Chauncey Ford.) 

By a singular coincidence, the magazine was 
depleted on August 14, the date of one of Wash- 
ington's communications to Cooke. Even now 
many details of the incident are still to be eluci- 
dated. George James Bruere, a man of unpleasant 
disposition, to characterise him mildly, was then 
Governor of the colony. His official residence oc- 
cupied a site on Government Hill, an eminence over- 
looking the town of St. George's, and the maga- 
zine stood near by. According to the local version 
of the seizure, the keys of the magazine were taken 
from beneath the Governor's pillow, and the pow- 
der kegs were rolled out of Government House 
grounds and conveyed to a spot on the north shore, 
now called the Naval Tanks. Here they were 
loaded into whaleboats in charge of a Captain 
Morgan, 1 and carried to two Bermuda sloops at 
anchor outside the reefs near North Rock. 

1 A Bermuda tradition relates to a heavy raincloud which 
hangs over the islands at a certain season and is known as "Old 
Morgan,'* whose spirit cannot rest until the descendants of the 
"powder stealers " are hung. 


It is obvious that the affair was carefully- 
planned, and that the participants included un- 
identified colonists of prominence, but it is cer- 
tain that the powder was not shipped in Ber- 
muda vessels. Bancroft says that George Ord in a 
sloop despatched from Philadelphia by Robert 
Morris under pretence of a trading voyage to New 
Providence, took the magazine by surprise, and, in 
conjunction with a schooner from South Carolina, 
carried off more than one hundred barrels of pow- 
der. The name of the South Carolina vessel does 
not appear, but Mr. De Lancey Cleveland, 1 a de- 
scendant of Captain Ord, is authority for the state- 
ment that his vessel was the brigantine Retaliation, 
which anchored near Mangrove Bay, at the west 
end of Bermuda, and received the powder from 
sailboats that were sent to St. George's during the 
night of August 14. In view of the distance of 
the magazine from the point of loading and the 
many miles of water covered by the boats in the 
space of a few hours, the undertaking certainly 
proves the efficiency of Captain Ord's men. 

The affair created extraordinary excitement in 
Bermuda. The Assembly offered a reward of 100 
for the discovery of the offenders and said : " We 
are deeply concerned to find that so flagitious an 
act should have been committed at this time of uni- 
1 New York Evening Post, February 24, 1904. 


versal distress." Governor Bruere informed them 
that one hundred barrels had been carried away 
and called it a "most heinous and attrocious 
crime." He also made wholesale accusations of 
treason and strenuously endeavoured, but without 
success, to discover the names of the delinquents. 
So far as the Americans were concerned their act 
conformed to the legitimate rules of war, but the 
Bermudians were liable to severe penalties, and 
they naturally held their tongues. On the other 
hand, the Americans did not embarrass those who 
had helped them by unwise disclosures ; thus the 
transaction is not illuminated to any extent by 
official records. 

Captain Ord is supposed to have landed the pow- 
der at Philadelphia, and this is probably correct, 
for in the minutes of the Pennsylvania Committee 
of Safety, dated August 26, 1775, the following 
entry appears : " A letter was this day received 
by Capt. Ord of the Lady Catherine, from Henry 
Tucker, chairman of the Deputies of the several 
Parishes of Bermuda, enclosing an account for 
118& Ibs. of gunpowder shipped by him aboard 
said vessel, amounting to 161. 14. 8., that cur- 
rency, with an account of eight half bars, of pow- 
der on board said vessel, the property of Captain 
John Cowper of North Carolina, for which last 
powder Mr. Tucker has engaged that this board 


or Mr. Robert Morris will be accountable for." 
The minutes for September show this credit: 
"August 6. By sundry casks of powder im- 
ported In the Lady, Capt. Ord from Bermuda, 
1800 Ibs. N. B. There is upwards of 7 cwt. of 
the powder imported from Bermuda that is unfit 
for use." 

It would appear that both entries refer to the 
same consignment, and that the committee, of 
which Robert Morris was a member, took charge 
of all the powder. Captain Ord was the owner of 
more than one vessel, and the evidence seems to 
show that he used the Lady Catherine or Lady, 
instead of the Retaliation in his successful expedi- 
tion. A Captain Samuel Stiles of Georgia is an- 
other who is supposed to have participated, while 
a descendant of St. George Tucker * asserts that 
this gentleman, a Bermudian by birth but a Vir- 
ginian by adoption, arranged the details of the 
seizure when he visited the islands, for the osten- 
sible purpose of obtaining a cargo of salt. That 
the Bermuda branch of the Tucker family had 
close connections with the American cause is ap- 
parent from the Pennsylvania Committee Records, 
as well as from the fact that American vessels, 
in communicating with the islands, were supposed 

1 J. Fairfax McLaughlin, Jr., in New York Evening "Post 
March 5, 1904. 


to stand in toward the west end and set signals, 
which would bring 1 a boat from a " Mr. Tucker." 

It remained for Washington to fulfil his promise 
to Captain Whipple, and on October 29, 1775, 
he wrote to Governor Cooke, saying : " Capt. 
Whipple's voyage has been unfortunate, but it 
is not in our power to command success, though 
it is always our duty to deserve it. ... I agree 
with you, that the attachment of our Bermudian 
brethren ought to recommend them to the favour- 
able regards of their friends in America, and I 
doubt not that it will. I shall certainly take a 
proper opportunity to make their case known to 
the honourable Continental Congress." 

The Continental Congress showed its gratitude 
by resolving, on November 22, 1775, to permit 
yearly exports of provisions to Bermuda in ex- 
change for cargoes of salt, a commodity which 
was not plentiful in America. Shipments were ap- 
portioned among the provinces as follows : South 
Carolina was to send 300 tierces of rice; North 
Carolina, 16,000 bushels of Indian corn and 468 
bushels of peas or beans ; Virginia, 36,000 bushels 
of corn and 1050 bushels of peas or beans ; Mary- 
land, 20,000 bushels of corn and 582 bushels of 
peas or beans ; Pennsylvania, 1200 barrels of 
flour or bread and 600 barrels of beef or pork; 
New York, 800 barrels of flour or bread and 400 


barrels of beef or pork. The colonists were also 
to be furnished with lumber, soap, and candles as 
necessity arose. In accordance with this resolu- 
tion, the Pennsylvania Committee, on November 25, 
granted permission to Edward Stiles to load the 
Sea Nymph, Samuel Stobel, master, for Bermuda. 
This was but one of several cargoes exported un- 
der the terms of the resolve, the Secret and Marine 
Committee being " charged with fitting out ves- 
sels with cargoes to Bermuda." 

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress 
again extended aid to the Bermudians by permit- 
ting their vessels to trade with American ports, 
and in November, 1777, Bermuda ships were ex- 
empted from capture by American privateers. 
Notwithstanding these indulgences, the people 
continually suffered for lack of food because they 
had little .or nothing of value to offer in return 
for provisions. Only by illicit trading with their 
salt vessels were they able to fulfil their urgent 
wants, although the government occasionally per- 
mitted ships to go in search of provisions. Some 
of the skippers who had no official commission 
went so far as to drive their craft among the reefs 
and leave the unloading to small boats. 

About the middle of 1777 two armed American 
brigs from South Carolina put in at the west end 
of the islands and remained a week without inter- 



ference y although the British sloop-of-war Nau- 
tilus lay at anchor in Castle Harbour. The 
Assembly protested against the inactivity of the 
sloop, but Governor Bruere explained that her 
bottom was foul and the pilots could not take 
her through the reefs. He said further that the 
" rebel brigs " were commanded by Bermuda cap- 
tains, who were " supposed to be well acquainted 
with the rocks and coast." 

Not all the Bermudians were friendly toward the 
American cause, and American merchantmen suf- 
fered at the hands of loyalists who embarked in 
the business of privateering, with the approval 
of Governor Bruere. Though the native priva- 
teers captured a number of vessels, the Americans 
in turn took their share of prizes, one of which 
was a ship manned by eighty slaves, who were 
liberated upon their arrival at Boston. 

For the captured Americans no proper accom- 
modations were provided in Bermuda. They were 
fed on raw rice once a day, and their jail at St. 
George's was such a loathsome place that on No- 
vember 19, 1779, the Assembly complained to the 
Governor, saying : " Unhappy are we to find . . . 
that men thrown among us by the calamities of 
war alone should be suffer* d to remain in a situa- 
tion shocking to every principle of humanity." 
As a result of this treatment a malignant fever 


originated in the jail and spread throughout the 
islands, causing extreme mortality and interfering 
with the sittings of the Assembly. 

The Governor died in September, 1780, and 
was succeeded by a man of the same name 
George Bruere who never lost an opportunity 
to accuse the Assembly and people of disloyalty. 
He complained that the Bermudians were supply- 
ing " the rebels " with " that great essential, salt " 
a correct accusation without a doubt, for that 
was the only way in which they could keep them- 
selves alive. " As far as I can," he said, " and it 
constitutionally lays with me, I will make my ac- 
tions outgo my words against the rebel trade. 
Let us change our system! fit out your fine ves- 
sels as privateers; the French and every enemy 
constantly pass close by us, often in our very 
sight. Conduct them in; riches and honour will 
attend you." 

It was the Governor's theory that the islanders 
could easily supply themselves by capturing prizes, 
and he persistently endeavoured to encourage priva- 
teering, urging at the same time the building of 
adequate fortifications. But the people paid little 
attention to this advice, and again in June, 1781 5 
the Governor spoke about the "wicked, designing 
men ** who " had caused a misguided and deluded 
people to do all they could to serve the Ameri- 


cans." Finally, he was unmercifully castigated by 
the Assembly and accused of prying into private 
correspondence by intercepting London letters on 
their return from Boston. These letters were 
probably written to Henry Tucker, the Bermuda 
agent at London, and it appears from the Gov- 
ernor's reply that they were returned by * John 
Hancock to Bermuda friends for the purpose of 
inflaming the people. 

Had the Continental Congress possessed a fleet 
capable of holding Bermuda, the colony might have 
been lost to England. The powder expedition not 
only suggested the probable reception which an 
invading force would have received, but it revealed 
Bermuda's weakness in a military sense, a small 
body of militia constituting its only protection. 
All this was known to the Americans and their 
allies, the French, who, realising the group's im- 
portance as a base for naval operations, advanced 
tentative plans for its capture. Silas Deane, a 
secret agent of the Continental Congress, who 
stopped at Bermuda in 1776, to purchase a swift 
native sloop, which carried him to Bordeaux, 
Prance, advised the seizure of Bermuda, while the 
same subject was subsequently discussed in cor- 
respondence which passed between the Comte de 

1 From 1775 to 1780 John Hancock was a delegate from 
Massachusetts to the Continental Congress. 


Vergennes, Brigadier Hopkins of the French ser- 
vice, and the Marquis de Lafayette. The latter, 
writing- to the Comte on February 2 5 1780, said 
he would personally organise a "parti de la 
liberte" in Bermuda. 

Another indication of the serious consideration 
given to Bermuda is contained in the Treaties of 
Commerce and Alliance between France and Amer- 
ica. This document, which was signed on Feb- 
ruary 6, 1778, provided that Bermuda should be 
added to the American confederation in the event 
of capture. Although the plans never materialised, 
they had the effect of producing in England a 
more intelligent recognition of Bermuda's value as 
a naval and military station. 

A contemporary account of the colony during 
the eighteenth century is found in the Abbe Ray- 
nal's work, " A Philosophical and Political History 
of the Settlements and Trade of the Europeans in 
the East and West Indies," published by Silvester 
Doig, Edinburgh, 179. It is probable that he 
obtained his facts from travellers, as he did not 
visit the islands. He tells of their settlement, and 

" The population increased considerably, be- 
cause the advantages of the climate were greatly 
exaggerated. People went there from the Lee- 
ward Islands for the benefit of their health and 


from the Northern Colonies to enjoy their fortune 
in peace. Ma*iy royalists retired there in expec- 
tation of the death of their oppressor, Cromwell, 
Waller among the rest, that charming poet, who 
as an enemy to that tyrannical deliverer, crossed 
the seas, and celebrated those fortunate islands, 
inspired by the influence of the air, and the 
beauty of the prospects, which are always favour- 
able to the poet. He imparted his enthusiasm to 
the fair sex. The English ladies never thought 
themselves fine or well dressed but in small Ber- 
muda hats made with palm leaves. 

" But at last the charm was broken, and these 
islands fell into the contempt which their insig- 
nificance deserved. They are very numerous, and 
their whole compass does not exceed six or seven 
leagues. The soil is very indifferent, and has not 
a single spring to water it- There is no water to 
drink, but what is taken from wells and cisterns. 
Maize, vegetables, and excellent fruits afford 
plenty of excellent food, but they have no com- 
modities for exportation ; yet chance has collected 
under this pure and temperate sky, four or five 
thousand inhabitants, poor, but happy in being 
unobserved. They have no outward connections 
but by some ships passing from the northern to 
the southern colonies, which sometimes stop to 
make refreshments in these peaceful islands. 


" Some attempts have been made to improve the 
circumstances of these people by industry. It has 
been wished that they would try to raise silk, then 
cochineal, and, lastly, that they would plant vine- 
yards. But these schemes have only been thought 
of. These islanders, consulting their own happi- 
ness, have confined their sedentary arts to the 
weaving of sails. This manufactory, so well 
adapted to plain and moderate men, grows daily 
more and more flourishing. 

66 For upwards of a century past they have also 
built ships at the Bermudas, that are not to be 
equalled for swiftness and durability, and are in 
great request, especially for privateers. They 
are made of a kind of cedar, called by the French, 
Acajon. They have endeavoured to imitate them 
at Jamaica and in the Bahama Islands, where 
they had plenty of materials which were grown 
scarce and dear in the old docks y but these ships 
are and must be far inferior to their models. 

"The principal inhabitants of the Bermuda 
Islands formed a society in 1765, the statutes of 
which are perhaps the most respectable monument 
that ever dignified humanity. These virtuous citi- 
zens have engaged themselves to form a library 
of all books of husbandry, in whatever language 
they have been written; to procure all capable 
persons, in both sexes, an employment suitable to 


their disposition; to bestow a reward on every 
man who has introduced into the colony any new 
art, or contributed to the improvement of one 
already known; to give a pension to every daily 
workman, who after having assiduously continued 
his labour and maintained a good character for 
forty years, shall not have been able to lay up 
stock sufficient to allow him to pass his latter days 
in quiet, and, lastly, to indemnify every inhabitant 
of Bermuda who shall have been oppressed either 
by the minister or the magistrate. 

"May these advantages be preserved to these 
industrious though indigent people, happy in their 
labour and in their poverty, which keeps their 
morals untainted. They enjoy the benefits of a 
pure and serene sky, with health and with peace of 
mind. The poison of luxury has never infected 
them. They are not themselves addicted to envy 
nor do they excite it in others. The rage and 
ambition of war is extinguished upon their coasts, 
as the storms of the ocean that surround them are 
broken. The virtuous man would willingly cross 
the seas to enjoy the sight of their frugality. 
They are totally unacquainted with what passes 
in the world we live in; and it will be happy for 
them to remain in their ignorance." 

This society, with its outlines of old-age pen- 
sions, one hundred and forty years odd, before 


they were adopted in England, may have been the 
Somerset Bridge Club, according to Williams, in 
his "History of Bermuda," published in 1848; 
" but," says he, " if such extensive and philan- 
thropical measures were ever contemplated, they 
must have signally failed, as the club has long 
since ceased to exist and its library has not been 



A PARTIAL state of famine still existed in Ber- 
muda when William Browne of Salem, Mass., ar- 
rived in 178 to fill the Governor's chair for a 
term that lasted six years. Governor Browne had 
held important judicial offices in Massachusetts, 
but his adherence to Tory principles necessitated 
his withdrawal from that province, although he 
was highly esteemed even by those who differed 
from him in opinion. Having an inherent knowl- 
edge of the needs of colonials, he was soon able 
to win the sympathies of the people, and, unlike 
the majority of his predecessors, he was patient 
and tactful in his dealings with the Assembly. 
While he did not actually discourage privateer- 
ing, the weight of his counsel was thrown against 
what he termed the " rude, desultory kind of life " 
on which the Bermudians had embarked, and he 
steadfastly endeavoured to promote a more whole- 
some respect for civil authority and the pursuit 
of milder occupations. 

One of his first acts was to declare the whale 
fishery free to all, for which the Assembly ex- 
pressed its gratitude in florid language. Hitherto 


whales had been considered "royal fishes," and 
as the fishery could only be conducted under 
licenses, fees for which were paid to the Governor, 
the people had practically ceased to engage in 
it. Another progressive step was the Assembly's 
provision for the colony's first newspaper, the 
Bermuda Gazette, which made its appearance on 
January 17, 1784. Governor Browne also inau- 
gurated a sounder financial policy, his adminis- 
tration being marked throughout by intelligence 
and a genuine desire to further the colony's 

But he sometimes had great difficulty in enforc- 
ing the laws. In 1782 and 1783, for instance, 
small-pox spread over the islands to such an ex- 
tent that many persons had recourse to a form 
of inoculation which was illegal inasmuch as it 
widened the area of infection, although the cases 
were less virulent. Heavy penalties were imposed, 
the chief justice and speaker of the Assembly were 
even accused of transgressing the law, and the 
Assembly decided it would be expedient to pass 
a bill for the exemption of all fines if the 
" Streams of Justice " were to be " preserved pure 
and unpolluted." 

At the conclusion of peace the regulation of 
intercourse between the British West Indies and 
the United States opened to the Bermudians the 


prospect of enlarged commerce, Governor Browne 
saying the new policy suggested fair and profit- 
able employment, " as the superiority of our ships 
and sailors has long been universally acknowl- 
edged." He was not mistaken. Shipbuilding 1 
received an impetus and the Bermudians resumed 
their old position as carriers for the Americans, 
having a fleet of more than one hundred and 
seventy-five vessels in 1789. Depredations of 
French privateers hampered shipping in 1793, 
but a more serious injury was brought about by 
the opening of the colony's ports to vessels of 
foreign nations that were friendly to Great Britain. 
For several years competition of foreigners was 
keen, and then the islanders forged ahead again 
until placed at a disadvantage by the War of 

By an order in Council dated October 13, 1812, 
it was permissible to export to the United States 
in licensed foreign bottoms British plantation 
sugar and coffee imported into Bermuda by British 
vessels, and these foreign vessels might return with 
certain American products without fear of moles- 

1 Bermuda cedar is so close grained that the shipbuilders put 
it into vessels* bottoms without seasoning* Their vessels were 
noted for speed an essential quality in privateering days. 
They constructed several ships of war with cedar, but it splintered 
in action and proved so expensive that the practice was discon- 
tinued. The colony owned a sloop-of-war and gunboat in 1795. 


tation by English men-of-war. This enabled the 
colony's fleet to conduct trade between Bermuda 
and the West Indies on the one hand and New- 
foundland on the other. There was profit in this 
when the Bermudians were successful in eluding 
the enemy, but so many of their ships fell into the 
hands of American privateers that the native mer- 
chants were seriously crippled. The extent of 
their losses is better realised when it is said that 
thirty-nine vessels belonging to the port of Hamil- 
ton alone, valued with their cargoes at a little 
more than 00,000 1 were taken or destroyed in 
the course of the war. 

Conversely, scores of merchantmen flying the 
Swedish, Portuguese, and Spanish flags were sent 
into Bermuda for adjudication in the prize court, 
and the use of the islands as a naval base pro- 
vided employment for the shipbuilders and sur- 
plus sailors. Furthermore, the presence of a 
large fleet naturally attracted all manner of sup- 
plies, and not a few Americans engaged in the 
business of supplying the British squadrons. 

" We hear of frequent arrivals at Bermuda of 
provisions from the United States," says Niles 9 
Weekly Register of Baltimore in its issue of 
April 24, 1818. "The traitors may yet be 

1 The colony's currency was at that period rated at twelve 
shillings sterling to the pound. 


caught. It is a desperate game." One of the 
traitors, who apparently had no respect for an 
honoured name, brought the schooner George 
Washington from New Haven with forty head 
of cattle and offered to supply Admiral Warren 
with fresh beef, deliverable either at Gardner's 
Island off Long Island, or at Bermuda. 

Commercial houses and the government were so 
seriously embarrassed in 1814 by the scarcity of 
currency that Admiral Warren endeavoured to 
obtain supplies of cash from New London. He 
planned to have money received on board His 
Majesty's ship Victorious, and to her commander, 
Captain Talbot, detailed instructions were for- 
warded by the Spanish schooner Rosa. But the 
fortune of war made the Rosa a prize to the Amer- 
ican privateer Viper, and the Admiral's letter was 
found in one of the Spanish skipper's boots. 

Bermuda was never attacked or threatened with 
attack, but one humourously audacious Ajnerican 
cruised off shore in the privateer Snap Dragon, 
after sending an " official " notice to the Governor 
that he had laid the islands under a rigid blockade. 
Two United States war vessels found their way 
to Bermuda under British colours. The first was 
the sloop Wasp, Captain Jones, which fought and 
defeated the British sloop Frolic in a desperate 
engagement off Albennarle Sound on October 13, 


Both vessels were disabled, and while effect- 
ing repairs the British liner Poictiers came on the 
scene and convoyed them to Bermuda. 

The second capture was that of Commodore 
Decatur's frigate President, which was taken in 
a running fight with a British squadron off Long 
Island on January 15, 1815, and lost heavily in 
officers and men. Among the wounded was Mid- 
shipman Richard Sutherland Dale, a son of one of 
John Paul Jones's officers. Dale was nursed in 
a private family until his death and was buried in 
St. Peter's churchyard at St. George's. 

Journalistic enterprise in the case of the Presi- 
dent brought the editor of the Bermuda Royal 
Gazette, Edmund Ward, into high disfavour, and 
cost him his position as King's Printer. His side 
of the affair as personally related by him appears 
in the Bermuda Almanack for 1900, from which 
this quotation is taken: 

" During my residence in Bermuda the Ameri- 
can war broke out, and just at its conclusion the 
American frigate President, Commodore Decatur, 
was captured by the Endymion, Capt. Hope. 
Commodore Decatur was transferred to the ship 
which captured his vessel, and sail was made for 
Bermuda. All the ship's books had been thrown 
overboard, and it was found impossible to ascer- 
tain the number of the President's crew, which, 


as was supposed, were subsequently distributed on 
board the other ships, with the exception of some 
thirty men and some junior officers, who were 
left on board intentionally; and Lieut. Morgan 
of the EndymioTiy and the Hon. Lieut- Perceval 
of the Tenedos, with ninety-six men, were put 
on board the prize for the purpose of bring- 
ing her into port. On the following day the 
ships separated in a gale, and towards evening 
it was fortunately discovered that sixty-eight men 
were concealed in the sail room, who were imme- 
diately secured and put in irons, and the Presi- 
dent narrowly escaped recapture by a treacherous 

" Having been informed of this circumstance 
by some gentlemen of St. George's who visited the 
ship, I mentioned it in the next Royal Gazette, 
and was directed by the Governor, Sir James 
Cockburn, to contradict it, on his assurance that 
it was not the case. Subsequently I found that 
I had been misled, and Commodore Decatur, on 
his arrival in the United States, having stated in 
a supplemental letter to the Secretary of the Navy 
that the contradiction had reference to his cap- 
ture by the Endymion alone, I reiterated my as- 
sertion as to the concealment of the men, which 
I was immediately required by Sir James Cock- 
bum to retract, and declining to do so, was 

Walter Rutherford 


deprived of my commission as King's Printer. It 
happened fortunately the ship having sailed for 
England that Lieut. Perceval remained on the 
station, who, on his arrival at Bermuda in the 
Bulwark, corroborated my statement, his servant 
having discovered the men. Sir James refused, 
however, to restore me to my situation, and 
I published the correspondence that had taken 
place previous to my dismissal. ..." 

American newspapers of the period industriously 
published statements to the effect that prisoners 
of war were ill-treated in Bermuda, but Dale's 
experience goes far to refute the assertions. The 
prisons hulks were not luxurious quarters, and 
individual cases of oppression existed without a 
doubt, but there is little evidence to show that 
the American sailors suffered more than the or- 
dinary discomforts of captives. 

One American, Henry King by name, escaped 
in a truly remarkable manner in July, 1814. King 
had been pressed into service on board the Pole- 
tiers under pretext that he was an Englishman* 
and later was transferred to the guard ship 
RuJby. He purchased a pocket compass from a 
shipmate, stole one of the Ruby's boats at night, 
and set sail for America, having two loaves of 
bread and a few quarts of water for provisions. 
When inclined to sleep he lashed his arm to the 



tiller, so that if the boat wore 'round he would 
be aroused, and thus he sailed for nine days, 
landing in the vicinity of Cape Henry, 

The close of hostilities found the Bermudians 
in possession of forty-three foreign-built vessels, 
all prizes, which were added to their depleted ton- 
nage, making a merchant marine of seventy-odd 
ships. American vessels were excluded from the 
British West Indies, but Bermuda ports were 
opened to foreign vessels from the United States, 
and once more the Beranjtdians developed a profit- 
able commerce, carrying cargoes to and from the 

Their activities continued until the West Indian 
ports were thrown open to the United States in 
18; then the rapid increase of American and 
Canadian ships, which were more cheaply built, 
brought competition that could not be favourably 
met, and the Bermuda fleet, so long?*O the ascen- 
dancy, dwindled by degrees, the phrase " salt, cedar, 
and sailors " losing its significance as an expres- 
sion of Bermudian superiority on the high seas. 
One of the famous fleet, the Gleaner, a sloop of 
twenty tons, lasted more than one hundred years. 
She was built in 1820, and her stout timbers met 
sea and storm valiantly. The Gleaner carried 
onions, packed in palmetto baskets, to the West 
Indies, and for many years she carried freight 
in Bermuda waters. 


A few of the shipping firms held out as long 
as they could employ crews of slaves, but eman- 
cipation, which was proclaimed on August 1, 1834, 
necessitated the payment of good wages to sailors 
and practically completed the dissolution of the 
waning industry. The Bermuda slaves received 
few religious or educational advantages. They 
could contract legal marriages, but for a long 
time were denied the office of baptism. One law 
enacted in 17BO exempted a master from prose- 
cution if he killed one of his slaves while punish- 
ing him, but in the event of deliberate killing the 
slayer could be fined and compelled to pay the 
value of his victim, if he were the property of 
another proprietor. Frequently, slaves were vol- 
untarily freed when employment could not be 
found for them, but free negroes were subject to 
deportation under the law. Sometimes slaves who 
had been condemned to death were reprieved if 
they agreed to become executioners, and in at 
least two cases the rule was applied to white 
prisoners. At different periods the whites were 
alarmed by conspiracies among the slaves, but on 
the whole the races lived amicably, and in pro- 
mulgating the emancipation act the Legislature 
refused to take advantage of the six years 5 ap- 
prenticeship it allowed. 

The immediate extension of the rights of citi- 


zenship to the coloured people and an incident 
occurring in 1835, the year following emancipa- 
tion, expressed the people's attitude toward 
slavery. This incident concerned the American 
brig Enterprise, which with seventy-eight slaves 
on board called at the islands for provisions. 
Representations by the newly-liberated race in- 
duced the legal authorities to hold the vessel and 
disembark her passengers in order that they might 
have the privilege of personally deciding whether 
they cared to proceed on the voyage. All but 
a woman and her five children accepted freedom, 
and the Enterprise left seventy-two of her pas- 
sengers on shore. 

Virtually every white family held slaves at the 
time of abolition, and the compensation of 128,000 
($640,000) awarded to Bermuda was generally 
distributed. The system had made the whites indo- 
lent, but it was unattended by the same variety 
of demoralising evils which cropped out in large 
slave-holding communities. There were no great 
plantations, consequently no large colonies of 
slaves under a single master; and the seafaring 
life gave the coloured people a certain amount of 
freedom and wider opportunities for improvement 
than would have obtained had they been held 
strictly to the land. The treatment accorded the 
slaves is reflected in the present condition of the 


race. 1 The Bermuda coloured people are intelli- 
gent, well-mannered, contented, and respected by 
the whites. This respect is reciprocated. The 
colour line is drawn, the races have separate 
schools, but there is no race feeling, no race 
problem, and the political and legal rights of the 
coloured man are zealously guarded. 

It is worthy of note that at the height of their 
prosperity on the sea the Bermudians advocated 
their island home as a " nursery," as they called 
it, for seamen of the Royal Navy, and the War 
of 181 so emphasised Bermuda's advantages as 
a naval station and fortress that ten years prior 
to emancipation a draft of convicts was sent from 
England to begin the development of the " Gibral- 
tar of the West." The convicts were employed in 
building the dockyard at Ireland Island and in 
the erection of fortifications and other imperial 
works in various parts of the colony. None was 
leased to private interests, neither were any dis- 
charged in the colony. 

The headquarters staff lived at Boaz Island, 
and the greater number of prisoners were kept 
in hulks anchored off the dockyard. Some lived 
in vessels at St. George's. They were sent to 

1 In a number of coloured families there is a strain of 
Indian blood, due to intermarriage with Pequod and Carib 
slaves, high cheek bones and straight hair indicating the 


labour on shore only when the weather permitted ; 
were not exposed necessarily in the sun ; and their 
hours of employment never exceeded eight per 
diem. With the idea of stimulating the prisoners 
to behave themselves and so obtain commutation 
of their sentences, they were classified as very 
good, good, indifferent, suspicious, bad, very bad, 
and were kept in separate compartments accord- 
Ing to the classification. Their liberal food allow- 
ance included a gill of rum each day, and under 
certain conditions they were paid for their labour. 
One third of their weekly earnings they were per- 
mitted to spend for " articles of comfort," exclu- 
sive of meat, beer, and spirits ; the remainder was 
reserved until their discharge. Good convicts 
were therefore able to carry home a tidy sum. 
To unruly prisoners the cat-o*-nine-tails was ad- 
ministered in the presence of their mates, " for the 
sake of example," the number of lashes depending 
upon the state of the victim's health as prejudged 
by an attending surgeon. Sometimes a man re- 
ceived five hundred lashes, enough to keep him 
in hospital for two weeks and scar him for life. 
Yellow fever scourged the prison hulks, particu- 
larly during one epidemic, and the records of the 
service were darkened by several murders and 
violent outbreaks. The last draft was sent home 
in 1863, without regret on the part of the natives. 


The immense sums of money expended in forti- 
fications and the maintenance of the convict ser- 
vice naturally benefited the people, who were slow 
in adjusting themselves to the change in conditions 
resulting from the decline of their maritime in- 
dustry. Farming was their only alternative, but 
for men trained to the sea it was a difficult pur- 
suit, and the problem was further complicated by 
the apathy of the Legislature, which had long 
neglected the colony's internal welfare. But under 
the intelligent direction of Gov. William Reid, " the 
good governor," who assumed his duties in 1839, 
when but two ploughs were to be found in the 
islands, the people seriously devoted their energies 
to the soil, producing their far-famed arrowroot in 
large quantities and increasing their output of 
onions and green vegetables. Governor Reid's ad- 
ministration of five years marked the beginning of 
a more enlightened and progressive Bermuda, al- 
though the colony existed mainly upon the British 
taxpayer's gold until the outbreak of the Amer- 
ican War of the Secession. 


NEVEE- again, perhaps, will Bermuda experience 
such a sudden transformation as that which fol- 
lowed the American War of the Secession. A 
year before the Southern States seceded the colony 
was known only as a British military outpost. Its 
trade was limited ; its people were poor and con- 
tent to eke out an humble existence, following as 
best they might in the footsteps of their fore- 
fathers. Communication with the outside world 
was restricted, and Bermudians were but mildly 
interested in fragmentary reports which told of 
the mighty political contest that was to place 
Abraham Lincoln in the White House. 

The year 1860 passed, Lincoln was inaugurated, 
the foundation of the Confederacy laid. Sumter 
fell ; on April 19, 1861, the President proclaimed 
a blockade of the Southern States from South 
Carolina to Texas. On April 9fl the blockade was 
extended to Virginia and North Carolina, and 
within five months the Federal cruisers had be- 
come numerous enough to close many of the larger 
Southern ports to sailing vessels engaged in trade 
with the enemy. In September Bermuda was re- 


ported to Washington as swarming with secession- 
ists, and the eyes of the United States government 
were directed thither in the knowledge that the 
islands were admirably situated for the operations 
of steam blockade runners, which were already 
beginning to make their appearance in Southern 

October 1 witnessed the arrival of the first 
American warship, the Connecticut, whose mission 
was to intercept the rebel steamer Nashville, which 
was supposed to be carrying the Confederate 
agents, Mason and Slidell, and $2,000,000 for 
the purchase of supplies in England. Hearing 
nothing of his quarry, the Connecticut's comman- 
der left to cruise south, and in so doing missed the 
Nashville, which in the meantime had slipped out 
of Charleston and laid a course for Bermuda. She 
arrived there on October 26, but Mason and Slidell 
were not among her passengers; they had gone 
to Havana in another vessel. Taking six hundred 
tons of coal at St. George's, the Nashville got 
away on her voyage to Southampton before 
Washington could send another cruiser after her. 

It was obvious that Bermuda was to become an 
entrepot for the Confederates, and its life quick- 
ened in response to the tide of events. Cotton 
was to furnish the sinews of war in the Confed- 
eracy, and arrangements had already been made 


in England for credit upon the faith of the crop 
of I860, and upon that proportion of subsequent 
crops which the rebel government could reasonablj 
control. The situation was a simple one. Eng- 
lish mills needed raw cotton, the Southerners 
needed munitions of war, manufactured supplies 
and food. There was plenty of cotton available 
in Southern ports for the private speculator at 
four cents and six cents a pound, and the Liver- 
pool merchant foresaw great profits if he could 
successfully market it in England, where the price 
had risen to sixty cents in anticipation of a great 
shortage. The question was one of transporta- 
tion, but the difficulties were not insuperable. 
Ships and men were quickly commandered, and 
with so much energy did the Liverpool merchants 
prosecute their plans that the United States gov- 
ernment was moved, in the latter part of Novem- 
ber, to order the Keystone State to cruise in the 
vicinity of Bermuda for the purpose of interdict- 
ing traffic with Confederate ports. 

Her visit was unhappily timed on account of 
the diplomatic friction which had arisen over the 
seizure of Mason and Slidell on board the Royal 
Mail steamship Trent, and her commander re- 
ceived few civilities from the Bermuda authorities. 
He was refused the privilege of taking government 
coal, ostensibly because the supply was limited, 


and the Quaker City* which followed the "Keystone 
State into port, suffered a similar experience. The 
vessels, however, were not denied the right to avail 
themselves of private supplies, as the Nashville 
had done ; nevertheless, the Washington authori- 
ties considered the incident of sufficient importance 
to quote it in their case dealing with the Alabama 
Claims, as evidence of unfriendly feeling toward 
the North. 

There was no exaggeration in the statement that 
Bermuda swarmed with secessionists. The winter 
of 1861-62 revealed to the people the possibilities 
of their newly-found trade, and their sympathies 
were extended in no half-hearted manner to the 
land whence it flowed. If commercial greed ruled 
their actions, they at least had the excuse of fol- 
lowing the example of England herself. At first 
blockade running direct from England was at- 
tempted, ships carrying papers which indicated 
their destination to be either Bermuda or Nassau, 
at which ports they might await a favourable op- 
portunity for the dash to their real objective. 
The Fingal, Captain Bulloch, C. S. N., Gladiator, 
Bermuda., and Watson were four steamers loaded 
in Great Britain with munitions of war and sent 
out to Confederate ports in 1861 via Bermuda. 

It was soon discovered, however, that direct 
voyages would not be profitable, particularly as 


the Supreme Court of the United States had! con- 
demned several captured vessels, and the plan of 
transshipment was adopted. By this device the 
trade between England and the points of trans- 
shipment Bermuda, Havana, Nassau was con- 
ducted in vessels of large capacity, while a class 
of swift, light-draught steamers, especially de- 
signed to meet the exigencies of blockade running, 
were employed in the actual work of supplying 
the Confederacy. 

Nassau was a greater station than Bermuda, 
though the Bermudians had no cause for jealousy. 
The harbour of Hamilton saw a considerable num- 
ber of vessels, but the principle centre of activity 
was St. George's, because of its proximity to the 
open sea. The older town completely lost its 
lethargy. Its warehouses were crowded with mer- 
chandise, its wharves with cotton and coal; often 
a score or more of steamers lay at anchor in the 
harbour. And there roamed about the streets a 
cosmopolitan crowd of sailors, with whom were 
mingled Northern and Southern spies and adven- 
turers from the seven seas. There were not enough 
houses to accommodate the motley crew. Men 
slept wherever they could, among the cotton 
bales, under verandahs, in streets, vacant lots, pub- 
lic houses. They were willing to do anything 
almost, or suffer any inconvenience for the sake 


of one thing money ; that was the bait which 
had drawn them to the hitherto neglected islands. 

There was plenty of money. Tales whispered 
in the ports of the world had not been embroi- 
dered, as these adventurers discovered when they 
came to Bermuda, and those who knew how could 
feather their nests. Captains of blockade runners 
received $5000 for the run in and out; chief 
officers, $2500; chief engineers, $2500; second 
and third officers, $1250; able seamen and fire- 
men, $250; pilots, $3750. Pilots were so well 
paid because, being Southerners, they were not 
exchanged when captured. 

These sums represented gold, not Confederate 
currency, and in each instance half of the amount 
was paid as a bounty before the voyage began. 
Wages on shore were proportionately high, and 
it was common knowledge that the labourer could 
afford to live in luxury; but the money went as 
it came, freely and swiftly, like the liquor it 
purchased in the nightly revels. These, too, were 
days of prosperity for the local merchant. Into 
his till flowed the capital of blockade skippers who 
succumbed to the allurement of private ventures, 
and though he called frequently upon New York 
as well as England for goods, he had difficulty 
in meeting the insistent demand. He also served 
as banker for thrifty sailors, and sometimes in- 


duced a friendly skipper to carry a small con- 
signment of shoes or cloth, on commission, to the 
profit of both. 

To return to the cruisers. The Nashville came 
back to Bermuda on February 0, 1862, the day 
after the American consul, Mr. C. M. Allen, had 
been notified of instructions issued by the British 
government which forbade men-of-war of either 
belligerent to take a supply of coal in excess of 
what would be necessary to carry them to the 
nearest port in their respective countries, or to 
some nearer destination. If, however, such vessels 
had coaled at a British port within three months, 
they were to be denied a further supply. As the 
Xashville had been accommodated at Southampton 
before sailing for Bermuda, Mr. Allen tried to 
prevent her from filling her bunkers ; but his pro- 
test was disregarded because the instructions had 
not been officially promulgated, and the cruiser 
was sent to sea under escort of H. M. S. Spiteful. 

This incident created a good deal of feeling, 
which was further intensified -by differences aris- 
ing between the Governor of Bermuda, H. St. 
George Ord, and Acting Rear-Admiral Charles 
Wilkes, II. S. N., upon the arrival of the latter, 
September 27, 1862, with the flagship Wachusett 
and the Sonoma and Tioga, all of which were at- 
tached to the West India Squadron. The Admiral 


was the same impetuous Wilkes who as captain of 
the San Jacinto had taken Mason and Slidell from 
the Trent ten months before and nearly precipi- 
tated war between Great Britain and the United 
States. He came into St. George's Harbour with 
the Wachwsett and Tioga, leaving- the Sonoma to 
cruise outside for the purpose of intercepting 
blockade runners. This annoyed Governor Ord, 
and after two days he sent a naval lieutenant on 
board to tell Stevens, her commander, that he 
must either anchor inside the harbor or stand off 
to sea. Stevens curtly refused to obey any person 
save his superior officer, and some sharp corre- 
spondence passed between Admiral and Governor. 
Wilkes complained that in entering port no 
national flag had been displayed at the staff on 
shore; that the Queen's proclamation relative to 
repairs and coaling had been handed to him by 
a person in " ordinary " dress ; and that only after 
he had sent an officer on shore to tender a salute 
was that formality carried out, gun for gun. The 
Governor sent a verbal apology for the delay in 
accepting the salute, and Wilkes brought the 
Sonoma into port on October 1. Immediately a 
misunderstanding arose over her right to take 
coal, the Governor asserting that her supply had 
been unnecessarily depleted while cruising outside. 
Wilkes contended that the Governor had already 


approved all his plans, and the point was settled 
in the American's favour without delay. The 
Tioga then went to sea, the Wachusett, whose 
machinery had become disabled, and the Sonoma 
following soon after. 

Wilkes himself went direct to the rendezvous 
in the New Providence Channel, but he had not 
finished with Bermuda. His instructions to the 
Tioga and Sonoma bade them remain in the vicinity 
of the islands and suffer nothing to escape. He 
had found, so he wrote Gideon Welles, Secretary 
of the Navy, in his first report, that Bermuda was 
the " principal depot of arms and munitions of 
war " for those intending to run the blockade ; and 
he had seen at St. George's seven British steamers 
preparing to make the run at the most favourable 
opportunity. His desire to capture or at least to 
bottle up these vessels led him to institute an ex- 
traordinary "blockade," which was not justifiable 
in view of the fact that England and the United 
States were at peace. 

The Sonoma and Tioga kept in touch with 
Consul Allen by boats and signals, receiving in- 
formation about the movements of blockade run- 
ners. On the 5th Commander Rogers of the Tioga 
heard that the little steamer OuacMta would try 
to get away through Chub Cut 5 a passage in the 
reefs at the west end, and succeeded in stopping 


her. Two days afterward the Gladiator came out 
from St. George's, convoyed by H. M. S. Desper- 
ate. Stevens boarded her outside the marine limit, 
and while doing so he observed the Harriet Pinck- 
ney leaving the harbour. Finding the Gladiator's 
papers to be correct, he permitted her to proceed, 
and steered for the Pinckney, which promptly re- 
turned to port. The same night a steamer ap- 
peared in the offing, and the Sonoma prepared to 
speak her. She ran for the harbour, with lights 
extinguished, but was stopped by a shot across 
the bows. She proved to be the Royal Mail steam- 
ship Merlin. 

That was the culminating incident of the 
" blockade." The Governor's temper had reached 
the breaking point. On October 10 he despatched 
H. M. S. Plover to notify Rogers that he must 
not communicate with, shore except by special per- 
mission. The warning made no great impression 
on the two commanders, but they were obliged to 
depart on October 1, having barely more than 
enough coal to carry them to the New Providence 
Channel, and the worries of the blockade runners 
were lightened. In 'his final report to Secretary 
Welles, Wilkes characterised the Bermuda officials 
as " a pack of secessionists," who " were in hopes 
to get rid of us, but notwithstanding we procured 
all we wanted." 



A strong remonstrance from the British govern- 
ment followed these incidents. Writing to Wil- 
liam H. Seward, Secretary of State, Lord Lyons, 
British Ambassador at Washington, said: "I am 
directed to express the regret of Her Majesty's 
government that Rear- Admiral Wilkes, who treats 
with contempt the lawful orders issued by the 
duly instigated authorities of the British Crown, 
should have been appointed to a command in which 
he could not fail to be brought into contact with 
those authorities." 

It was asserted that Wilkes had offensively and 
unlawfully placed sentinels on British territory; 
that he had contemptuously evaded orders in re- 
gard to coal supplies ; and that he had anchored 
his vessels in a position to control shipping, in 
addition to cruising in neutral waters in excess of 
his rights as a belligerent. Wilkes denied that he 
had tried to control shipping and said he had 
merely placed sentries at the foot of the gangway 
while his cruisers were coaling, to prevent the 
smuggling of liquor on board. 

In one of his letters to Governor Ord, Wilkes, 
referring to the expression, "I have to inform 
you that the vessel (Tioga) cannot be permitted 
to return within these waters," replied in the fol- 
lowing terms : " This I cannot permit ; my gov- 
ernment alone has the power of instructing me." 


The British government objected to this language, 
but it was upheld by Secretary Seward, and the 
matter was dropped after an exchange of several 

Late in 1862 Major Norman Walker, a Vir- 
ginian, took up his residence in Bermuda as po^ 
litical agent of the Confederacy, commercial trans^ 
actions being left in the hands of John T. Bourne^ 
a Bermudian. Major Walker's duties were to fa- 
cilitate transportation of supplies, smooth the way 
for blockade runners, and to provide sufficient coal 
for their use, each vessel taking about one hundred 
and eighty tons every voyage. The task was not 
a light one, particularly that part which concerned 
the coal. The steamers could not burn with safety 
fuel which would give out a black smoke to reveal 
their presence to alert cruisers, and as the United 
States had prohibited the exportation of anthra- 
cite it was necessary to keep on hand a large sup- 
ply of semi-bituminous Welsh coal. Without the 
assistance of the colliers the blockade runners 
would have been seriously crippled, for the fleet 
had grown to amazing proportions through the 
formation of English companies for the sole 
purpose of prosecuting the trade. 

The craft they sent out were quickly and flim- 
sily built of iron and, in a few cases, steel, at a low 
cost. Some were propelled by screws, the ina- 


jority by paddle wheels; all were picturesquely 
rakish, with a low freeboard and a turtle-back deck 
forward, which enabled them to be driven at high 
speed in a seaway. They drew nine or ten feet of 
water, and could usually make fourteen knots when 
pressed, enough to outfoot the fastest cruiser. 
Their tonnage varied from one hundred to nine 
hundred, with crews in accordance with their size, 
the maximum number being fifty men. 

Every conceivable precaution was taken to ren- 
der the slippery vessels invisible at night. They 
were painted a dull lead colour and carried two 
low spars with a minimum of rigging and no yards, 
merely a crow's nest on the foremast for the look- 
out. Their boats were lowered to the level of the 
rail, and their funnels could be telescoped in case 
of emergency. Steam was blown off under water ; 
not a light was displayed in dangerous waters 
even the binnacle lamps were screened to all but 
the helmsman. In the poultry crates no cocks 
were allowed; such birds could not be trusted 
to keep silence when the smell of land floated 

Practically all the steamers which ran out of 
Bermuda cleared for Nassau but went to Wilming- 
ton, N. C., a comparatively easy port to enter, 
although guarded by a vigilant fleet. Dark nights 
the darker the better were chosen for the 


royage, which could usually be accomplished in 
sixty hours, if Federal cruisers did not lay chase. 
Outward cargoes consisted of artillery, rifles, and 
other munitions of war, billed as " hardware,*' and 
sometimes as military supplies ; army boots, uni- 
form cloth, medicines and a variety of foodstuffs. 
Returning, the vessels carried cotton and occa- 
sionally rosin and turpentine, as much as could be 
stowed under hatches and on deck. Invariably 
they were loaded to the danger line, and only su- 
perior seamanship brought them through the 
winter gales, particularly when they developed 
leaks under the excessive strain of heavy cargoes. 

As soon as a new vessel arrived from England, 
Mr. Allen sent her description and name to Wash- 
ington, whence all information was transmitted to 
the blockading squadrons. He also kept a record 
of the amount of coal imported by Major Walker. 
Surveillance, however, did not hamper the opera- 
tions, neither did the numerous diplomatic pro- 
tests forwarded to London from Washington. 
Great Britain maintained that there was nothing 
contrary to the law of nations in the transship- 
ment of blockade-running cargoes, and put no 
obstacles in the way of the vessels. The United 
States was therefore unable to control the activi- 
ties of the people at Liverpool, Bermuda, and 
Nassau, and the trade went merrily on. The com- 


panies had reduced the business to a science, and 
so enormous were their profits that they were more 
than compensated if they lost a ship after she had 
made two successful voyages. There were losses, 
of course, about twenty steamers being captured 
or destroyed between Bermuda and Wilmington, 
but in the first three years the vessels made their 
voyages almost as regularly as mail boats. A 
rather unusual wreck was that of the Vesta, carry- 
ing nine passengers, including several Confederate 
maval officers* Her fate is thus recorded in the 
Richmond Examiner of January 20, 1864 : 

" This was the first trip of the Vesta from Eng- 
land. She was a double-screw steamer, perfect in 
all appointments, and commanded by Captain R. 
H. Eustace, an Englishman, 

" The Vesta left Bermuda on the 3rd inst. For 
seven days she was chased over the seas by a num- 
ber of Yankee cruisers, and succeeded in eluding 
them, and on the 10th made the coast in the 
vicinity of Wilmington. Being compelled to lay 
to, she was descried by a Yankee cruiser, which 
gave chase, and in half an hour eleven Yankee 
vessels were pouncing down upon the suddenly 
discovered prey. The Vesta, though apparently 
surrounded, ran the gauntlet in splendid style, 
through one of the most stirring scenes the war 
has yet witnessed on the water. 


" Some of the cruisers attempted to cross her 
bows and cut her off, but she was too rapid for 
this manoeuvre, and at half a mile's distance some 
of the cruisers opened their broadsides upon her, 
while five others in chase were constantly using 
their bow guns, exploding shells right over the 
decks of the devoted vessel. Fortunately, no pne 
was hurt, and the vessel ran the gauntlet, raising 
her flag in defiance, suffering only from a single 
shot, which, though it passed amidships, above 
the waterline, happily escaped the machinery. 

" But the trouble seems to have commenced with 
what the passengers anticipated to be the trium- 
phant escape from their captors ; for the captain 
and the first officer, Tickler, are reported to have 
become outrageously drunk after the affair was 
over and the night had fallen. It is said that the 
captain was asleep on the quarter-deck, stupefied 
with drink, when he should have put the ship on 
land; and that at two o'clock in the morning he 
directed the pilot to take the ship ashore, telling 
him that the ship was ten miles above Fort Fisher, 
when the fact was that she was about forty miles 
to the southward of the Fryingpan Shoals. 

" Fifteen minutes afterwards the Vesta made 
land, the pilot having run her so far ashore that it 
was impossible to get her off. She was run 
aground at Little River Inlet ; the passengers 


landed in boats minus their baggage; and, al- 
though there were no cruisers in sight, and not 
the least occasion for precipitation, the vessel, 
with all her valuable cargo, was fired before day- 
light by order of Captain Eustace and burned to 
the water's edge. The cruisers did not get up 
to the wreck until two o'clock on the afternoon of 
the next day, and they were attracted to it by 
the smoke from the conflagration. 

" The cargo of the Vesta was of the most 
valuable description; three-fourths of it on gov- 
ernment account, consisting of army supplies and 
including a very extensive lot of English shoes. 
There was also lost in the wreck a splendid uni- 
form intended as a present to General Lee, from 
some of his admirers in London. Nothing of any 
account was saved." 

Disasters from carelessness were not often re- 
corded. On the whole the companies were admi- 
rably protected by the men they employed, the 
glittering bounties enabling them to get picked 
crews and the most resourceful pilots and cap- 
tains. Of the latter the majority were Britishers, 
including officers of the Royal Navy on fur- 
lough, who succeeded under assumed names in 
screening their identity, even from the Bermudians. 

The most famous of all the naval men was " Cap- 
tain Roberts/ 5 afterward Hobart Pasha of the 


Turkish Navy. He joined the Don, a twin-screw 
steamer, at St. George's and was persona grata at 
Government House whenever he returned to Ber- 
muda. The American cruisers were ever on the alert 
for the Don; finally one of them got her but not 
" Roberts/ 5 " The first remark of the boarding 
officer was: 'Well, Capt. Roberts, so we have 
caught you at last ! ? and he seemed much disap- 
pointed when he was told that the captain they 
so particularly wanted went home in the last mail." 
So relates " Roberts " in his little book, " Never 
Caught in Blockade Running. 35 He did not keep 
his resolve to drop the business it was too fasci- 
nating. In 1864 he was back again with a new 
ship, but after one lucrative trip an attack of yel- 
low fever, contracted in Bermuda, put an end to 
his activities as a blockade run Tier. " Roberts a * 
made seven voyages and once travelled through 
the Northern lines from Richmond to Washington, 
thence going to New York. 

Among his naval associates who ran from Ber- 
muda, with more or less success, were Murray 
(Admiral Murray-Aynsley in later years) ; Hugh 
Burgoyne, V. C-, who lost his life in the sinking of 
the ironclad Captain; and Hewett, V. C. ? who 
died an admiral, after commanding the Queen's 
yacht. No one knew every member of the ad- 
venturous naval company. 


Conspicuous among the merchant captains were 
the mysterious John Burroughs a naval officer, 
some called him master of the Cornubia, North 
Heath, Gertrude, and Pavensey; Coxetter of the 
Herald, who made his trips with surprising regu- 
larity ; cool-headed J. W. Steele, of the Banshee; 
Peniston, who commanded the Siren, a nutshell of 
a steamer; and Robert C. Halpin, of the Emily, 
in later years captain of the Great Eastern. 

While the Confederates compelled privately 
owned blockade runners to include in their cargoes 
cotton on government account, they also operated 
three or four vessels of their own and held an 
interest in several more. One of the vessels flying 
the Stars and Bars was the Robert E. Lee, whose 
master, John Wilkinson, an accomplished officer 
of the rebel navy, was extraordinarily successful 
in dodging the enemy. The Lee was called the 
Giraffe when Wilkinson bought her in England 
for $32,000. At the end of December, 1862, he 
took her into Wilmington, where she was trans- 
ferred to the government and renamed. Under 
Wilkinson's command the Lee ran the blockade 
twenty-six times, bringing valuable cargoes to 
the Confederates and carrying abroad between 
6000 and 7000 bales of cotton valued at about 
$2,000,000 in gold. 

On July 16, 1863, while the Lee was lying in 


St. George's Harbour, the Confederate cruiser 
Florida came in, with the Wachusett close on her 
heels. The Florida had sailed from Pernambuco 
early in May, taking many prizes, among them 
the ship B. F. Hoscie, bound from the west coast 
of Mexico to Falmouth, England, with a cargo 
of logwood and $105,000 in silver bars. The silver 
was transferred by bill of sale to the Confederate 
agent and sent to Liverpool by the British brig 
Eagle, and aboard the Lee were placed twenty-one 
chronometers, fourteen quadrants, four sextants, 
twenty-five compasses and other nautical instru- 
ments captured on the cruise, in addition to a 
quantity of tea and coffee, a donation from the 
Florida's crew to the Richmond hospitals. 

Officers of the Florida and Wachusett studi- 
ously refrained from recognizing one another, 
but the crews fraternized in public houses with 
that degree of amiability which sailors can always 
assume. Maffitt, who commanded the Florida, 
carried out his intention of avoiding an engage- 
ment by going to sea, but before leaving he 
received the first and only salute tendered the 
Confederate flag in Bermuda. Anxious for the 
honour, he sounded the military commandant on 
the subject, and after learning that a salute of 
twenty-one guns would be returned he burned up 
his powder and received an answer, gun for gun, 


the Confederate flag flying from the signal station 
at Fort George. 

The Florida took so much coal that the Lee 
could get scarcely enough to carry her to Wil- 
mington. Wilkinson, however, reached there 
safely, came out again with a full cargo, and was 
chased, circumstances having forced him to use 
an inferior quality of North Carolina coal, which 
smoked profusely but would not make steam. The 
Lee lost ground steadily, and it seemed as if she 
must be caught, so rapidly did her pursuer come 
up. As a last resort Wilkinson told his engineer 
to throw cotton saturated with turpentine into 
the furnaces, and through this device he escaped, 
bringing to Bermuda a large amount of Con- 
federate gold. When he was detached from the 
Lee at the end of 1863, he apparently took her 
luck with him, and she fell into the hands of the 
Federals on her next voyage. 

Bermuda saw the Florida twice again, in May 
and June of 1864. On her last visit Morris, to 
whom MafBt had relinquished command, effected 
repairs to the ship and obtained coal supplies 
and money necessary for a long cruise. After- 
ward she lay off the islands and boarded incoming 
vessels before resuming her famous voyage of 
destruction to Bahia. In the case of this 
vessel the Alabama Claims Tribunal held Great 


Britain responsible for a violation of the neutrality 

A few months after Wilkinson left the Lee he 
went to Bermuda and took charge of the Whisper, 
a new steamer just out from England. In his 
" Narrative of a Blockade Runner " he relates 
that freights at this time had advanced to such a 
point that 500 sterling was charged for a small 
box of .medicines which he stowed in his cabin, 
the only available place left for cargo. Within 
twenty-four hours after the Whisper sailed for 
Wilmington five other steamers took their depar- 
ture for the same port. All met heavy weather 
and the Whisper was the only one to land her 
cargo ; the others were either captured or driven 

On October 29, 1864, Wilkinson left Wilming- 
ton with the CMclcamauga, which was fitted out 
as a cruiser and manned by a crew of " dock 
rats " and other worthies. Under the name Edith 
she had previously run the blockade from the 
islands, but as the Chickamauga she received scant 
courtesy on her arrival there on November 7, 
with a record of having destroyed several Ameri- 
can merchantmen. Protests from the American 
consul prevented Wilkinson from obtaining the 
coal he needed for a long cruise, with the result 
that he was forced back to Wilmington. 


The Confederacy was fast losing ground; its 
armies were starving, and the services of the re- 
doubtable Wilkinson were again called into play. 
He was told to take the Tallahassee to Bermuda 
and return with a cargo of provisions. He did 
not hesitate, but first he had to purge the ship of 
her aliases. The Bermudians knew her as the 
Atlanta, a blockade runner; the Confederate navy 
as the Olustee and Tallahassee, a cruiser. Wil- 
kinson dismounted her guns, and she received the 
ironic yet appropriate name of Chameleon, with 
an elaborate set of merchant papers. Thoroughly 
" whitewashed," as they said at the time, she 
passed the scrutiny of the Bermuda authorities, 
obtained her cargo, and was off again to Wilming- 
ton. She actually lay under the guns of Fort 
Fisher, whose energetic commander, CoL Wil- 
liam Lamb, " the guardian angel," had saved so 
many blockade runners from destruction, before 
Wilkinson discovered that the Federals were at 
last in control. He promptly turned the Chame- 
leon around and ran out for the last time, going 
straight to Nassau. Maffitt of the Owl (the 
Florida^ old commander) had a similar adven- 
ture and returned to St. George's, his sailing 
port. There were others, too, some of which were 

Bermuda had a visit late in 1864 from the no- 


torious John C. Braine, whose manner of captur- 
ing vessels was that of the pirate. Braine and 
John Parker, whose real name was V. G. Locke, 
and a party of eight men, boarded the American 
mail steamer RoanoJce as she was about to leave 
Havana for New York on September 29. They 
had tickets and passports and seemed to be genu- 
ine passengers. That night, at sea, Braine and 
his men, who proved to be Confederates, over- 
powered Captain Drew and the Roanoke's officers, 
the majority of whom were asleep in their berths, 
killed the carpenter by shooting, wounded the 
third engineer, and took possession of the ship. 
All of the company, excepting the firemen, were 
put in irons. 

After rifling the ship's safe of $1,000 Braine 
laid a course for Bermuda. He anchored in Five 
Fathom Hole on the evening of October 4 and im- 
mediately went to St. George's in a pilot boat. 
Early nest morning he returned with several men 
and took the RoanoJce to sea. The following even- 
ing she came to anchor again and was boarded by 
another party of men, who brought information 
to the effect that a brig would come out with coal 
and provisions for the steamer. For the second 
time the RoanoJce stood off to sea, returning again 
on the night of October 6, just as the brig Village 
Girl came out of port. October 7 was spent in 


an effort to transport supplies from brig to 
steamer, Braine having arranged for another brig 
to take the passengers, forty in number, to Hali- 
fax. This vessel, the MatMlde, flying Danish 
colours, hove in sight that night, and received 
the Roanoke's passengers and crew, excepting three 
men, who were in irons. 

It was Braine's plan to have the Roanoke navi- 
gated to Wilmington by a Captain Reid and R. E. 
N. Boggs, a Bermuda blockade runner, but the sea 
was so rough that it was impossible to accomplish 
the task of coaling, and the steamer lay in the 
anchorage on the evening of October 8, with 
only a few tons in her bunkers. Without coal 
the Roanoke was useless, and Braine knew that 
she would be detained if she entered a Bermuda 
harbour, because the American consul was already 
addressing protests to the Governor; so without 
any preliminaries the buccaneering skipper de- 
cided to set her afire and proceed to land in a 
boat. Boggs was aboard when the torch was ap- 
plied, and in a moment of deviltry he thought for 
once in his life he would take a shot at what he 
termed a " live man." Standing before the saloon 
mirror, he aimed a bullet at the heart of his own 
reflection, shattering the glass into atoms. In 
a few minutes flames were leaping from the 

Walter Rutherford 


Braine and his followers were taken into court, 
but upon producing commissions from the Con- 
federate Government, said to have been manu- 
factured over night, they were released after a 
perfunctory hearing, despite the protests of Con- 
sul Allen, who declared they had committed an 
act of piracy against his country. By a similar 
ruse Braine and other men, including Parker, 
had captured the steamer Chesapeake in De- 
cember, 186S, off Cape Cod, taking her to 
Halifax, and escaping from the custody of the 
authorities. Braine was accounted a pirate by 
the United States and was arrested in New York 
in 1866, but the charges against him were never 

A more sinister figure than Braine came to Ber- 
muda from Halifax about the same time in the 
person of Dr. Luke P. Blackburn, who purported 
to be a physician of New Orleans. He was, by 
the way, an acquaintance of Braine. Yellow fever 
was then sweeping over the colony and devas- 
tating the crews of blockade runners. By asserting 
that he had a special knowledge of the disease, 
Blackburn was able to co-operate with the local 
physicians and sanitary officers, and he was ex- 
tremely active in assisting all plans for checking 
the epidemic. He refused offers of a pecuniary 
nature, either for his services or for expenses he 



Incurred, and the people were genuinely sorry 
when he returned to Halifax at the end of a month. 
Little did they suspect that he was concerned in 
a diabolical plot to collect the clothing of fever 
patients for distribution in New York and other 
Northern cities during the coming summer. 

Details of the affair reached Consul Allen in 
April, 1865, through a spy, who told a circum- 
stantial story of the location of the clothing and 
its owner. Mr. Allen communicated with the 
health officer, and the matter was laid before the 
Corporation of St. George's. While the meeting 
was in progress, a member of -the Corporation, 
who happened to be a strong Southern sympa- 
thiser and a traitor to his associates, signalled to 
a Confederate spy outside the window. That in- 
dividual lost no time in notifying the guardian 
of the clothing, a man named Swan, that trouble 
was in the air. The suspicions of the Corporation 
were aroused by the peculiar actions of the traitor- 
ous member, and a committee was appointed to 
search the suspected house, which was reached at 
the moment Swan was preparing to burn the 
damaging articles. 

The clothing consisted of blankets, sheets, 
underwear, handkerchiefs, stained with "black 
vomit 5 '; a number of new garments, and many 
poultices, the latter being distributed with a view 


of incubating the germs, if any existed. There 
were three trunks, one of which was labelled " St. 
Louis Hotel, Upper Town, Quebec " ; another 
"Clifton House, Niagara Falls, Canada Side." 
At the request of Mr. Allen the clothing was 
taken to the quarantine station at Nonsuch Island 
and buried with a solution of oil of vitriol. 

Swan was sent to jail for "harbouring a nui- 
sance," but his employer had long since been 
out of the law's reach. The chain of evidence 
was too strong to absolve Blackburn. He had 
gathered and brought the clothing to the storage 
place and had hired the caretaker. So much was 
proved beyond a shadow of doubt. Whether he 
acted purely on his own initiative in a spirit of 
misguided patriotism, or whether he was a gov- 
ernment tool, are points not entirely clear. In 
reporting the affair to Washington, Consul Allen 
said he believed that Dr. Blackburn's expenses had 
been paid with funds from the rebel treasury. 

That so horrible a scheme should have received 
official approval seems hardly conceivable, yet 
Thomas E. Taylor, in his book, "'Running the 
Blockade," cites an instance which shows that 
there were official hands willing to take up the 
desperate game. Taylor, famous for his exploits 
with Banshee, Night Hawk, and W$l-o 9 -the-Wisp, 
says an " eminent Confederate military doctor pr*>- 


posed to me during the prevalence of the yellow 
fever epidemic that he should ship by our boats 
to Nassau and Bermuda sundry cases of infected 
clothing, which were to be sent to the North with 
the idea of spreading the disease there. This was 
too much, and I shouted to him, not in the choicest 
of language, to leave the office." This incident 
probably took place at Wilmington, where " yellow 
jack " caused frightful mortality. 

In view of the modern theory of yellow fever 
transmission, Blackburn's plan, or any other plan, 
might have proved abortive, even though the de- 
tails had been carried out ; but this can have no 
bearing on the atrocious motive. 

The exposure of Blackburn and the OwVs re- 
turn were the last exciting incidents of the war, 
so far as Bermuda was concerned. The fall of 
Wilmington was a stupefying blow to the Ber- 
mudians. Their faith In the ultimate success of 
the Confederacy had never been shaken; pros- 
perity had blinded them to the palpable weaknesses 
of the South. But now they faced the abrupt 
ending of a business on which they had thrived 
for four years. The market for their large stocks 
of goods had disappeared overnight, and with it 
the picturesque fleet of blockade runners. Having 
played the game to the limit, ships and men de- 
serted St. George's as rats desert a doomed ship, 


and the townspeople were left to count their 

They were mostly losses. A few of the far-seeing 
merchants came out of the wreck with fattened 
bank accounts; the majority shouldered a burden 
of debt which took years to liquidate ; and for gen- 
erations one found in St. George's traces of that 
financial demolition which came about when Wil- 
mington was lost to the Confederacy. 

The growth and extent of blockade running 
and its influence upon the imports and revenue are 
seen in the following tables: 


1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 

Hamilton . 107 136 176 140 158 121 

St. George's 80 84 138 247 367 143 

Total ... 187 220 314 387 525 264 



1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 

152,887 164,503 238,932 321,427 371,084 200,983 
$764,435 $822,515 $1,194,660 $1,607,135 $1,855,420 $1,004,915 


1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 

11,210 10,245 13,135 16,251 19,642 24,079 
$56,050 $51,225 $65,675 $81,255 $98,210 $120,395 

The colony derived no revenue from the im- 
mense consignments of munitions of war, pro- 


visions, medicine, clothing, and cotton landed there 
for transshipment, as all merchandise of this de- 
scription came in bond and was not even subjected 
to a landing tax. Increase of taxable importations 
was due to the heavy demands for marketable 
goods made upon local merchants by blockade 
runners and by the natives who indulged in 
speculative ventures. 



In beautiful Victoria Park at Hamilton one 
may see the column erected in glorious memory 
of the men of the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps 
who fell in the Great War ; in the grounds of the 
Puhlic Buildings stands the Cenotaph. Both are 
symbols of Bermuda's willing response to Britain's 
calls to arms. They are also symbols of that 
intangible bond which links the British colonies 
and dominions to the Mother Country* The spir- 
itual strength of this bond is charmingly phrased 
in the "Song of the Keepers of the Western Gate,'* 
which was written by Miss Gray, a Bermuda lady, 
years before the German onslaught: 

Empty are our hands: 

For we have neither wealth or lands, 

Nor grain or gold to give thee and a feeble folk are 


But in very will and deed,, 
We will serve thee at thf y need^ 
And keep thine ancient f ortalice above the Western 



The sea is at our doors, 

And we front its fretted floors, 

Swept by every wind that listeth, ring'd with reefs 

from rim to rim, 

Though we may not break its bars, 
Yet by light of snn and stars, 
Our hearts are fain for England, and for her our 

eyes are dim. 

Bermuda kept the western gate, for in the early 
part of the war British warships operating from 
the islands under Admiral Sir Christopher Cra- 
dock drove the German raiders from the North 
Atlantic lanes and bottled up the Kaiser's mer- 
chant ships in American ports, thus preventing 
them from supplying his cruisers, which were 
forced into South American waters. Later, Cra- 
dock went south and around Cape Horn into 
the Pacific in search of the German Admiral Von 
Spee, meeting his death on November 1, 1914, in 
the Battle of Coronel, after a gallant fight against 
heavy odds. Two of Cradock's ships, the Good 
Hope and Monmouth, went down with all on board. 
He was soon avenged. On December 8 Von Spee 
and his China squadron were vanquished by a 
squadron under Vice-Admiral Sir Doveton Stur- 
dee in the Battle of the Falkland Islands, the odds 
this time being against the Germans. 

Virtually the first act of the Bermuda govern- 
ment after the declaration of war was to appro* 


priate 40,000 ($200,000) as a gift from the 
colony toward the Imperial Defence Fund. Mar- 
tial law was declared, the local troops were mobil- 
ized, and steps were taken to strengthen the de- 
fences in view of the presence of German cruisers 
in the North Atlantic. Naturally the tourist 
traffic underwent an immediate decline and finally 
dwindled to nothing when the Imperial Govern- 
ment found it necessary to commandeer the Ber- 
muda passenger vessels for war purposes. But 
Bermuda carried on, though severely handicapped, 
and the islanders gave freely of their means to- 
ward numerous war charities and kept their own 
men at the front supplied with comforts. 

In May, 1915, the first contingent of the Ber- 
muda Volunteer Rifle Corps sailed for the front 
some ninety strong under the command of Major 
R. J. Tucker. Later reinforcements were em- 
barked, the total force numbering 126. It was 
not a large number as numbers go, but it repre- 
sented a large proportion of the white men of 
fighting age in the colony, each man being a volun- 
teer, for the Corps was not required to serve out- 
side Bermuda. The Bermudians passed through 
some of the heaviest fighting in France. Of the 
126 men who went overseas, 69 were casualties, 4*0 
giving their lives. Their best tribute came from 
the British Commander-in-Chief who, when asked 

if he wanted any more men from Bermuda, said : 
"Yes, send me along as many more of the same 
kind as ever you can get." 

The coloured population of Bermuda also 
proved its loyalty to the Empire by recruiting a 
contingent of 200 odd men, who went overseas with 
four white officers, Major T. M. Dill commanding. 
Some of these troops were members of the Ber- 
muda Militia Artillery, others were recruited in 
the different parishes. They arrived at the front 
on June 20, 1916, doing excellent work as an 
ammunition column for the heavy artillery, taking 
part in the Battle of the Somme, and serving also 
at Vimy and in the famous Ypres salient. They 
had ten casualties. 

Aside from the men of these two contingents, 
many Bermudians served in the Canadian and Im- 
perial armies and in the Royal Air Force. Not a 
few of them won high honors. 

Some months after the United States entered 
the war, Bermuda became Base 24 of the American 
Navy, with Captain W. G. Cutter as commanding 
officer. He arrived at Bermuda on April 15, 
1918, in the IL S. S. Arethusa and left there on 
January 14, 1919. Base 24 was a way station for 
American submarine chasers which, on account 
of their small size and limited cruising radius, 
were compelled to break their voyage to European 


waters in order to refit and take fuel. Many were 
docked and repaired at the dockyard in Ireland 
Island. One hundred and twenty submarine 
chasers crossed the Atlantic to Europe via Ber- 
muda, proceeding in convoys of twelve to twenty- 
four as they were refitted and made ready for the 
voyage. One of these vessels, No. 126, grounded 
and sank near Two Rocks Passage leading into 
Hamilton Harbour. She was hauled clear of the 
shoal and floated, but while in tow sank again off 
the United States Supply Station at Agar's Is- 
land, once the site of the Bermuda Aquarium. 
Fortunately, there were no casualties, the U. S. 
S. Salem taking off the sub. chaser's crew. 

The American bluejacket was a welcome visitor 
to Bermuda. He spent his money with character- 
istic freedom, his discipline was excellent, and he 
upheld the fine traditions of the United States 
Navy, making many friends for himself and his 
country. Moreover, the close contact of the 
British and American naval officers at Bermuda 
cemented the strong bond which already existed 
between the two services. 



PICTUBE a submarine volcano rising some fifteen 
thousand feet from the ocean floor; its internal 
fires are quenched, and there on this mountain top 
a host of lime-secreting animals (molluscs) takes 
up its abode. Generation by generation, through 
countless ages, these little animals carry on 
their ordained task, leaving behind them myriads 
of shells which consolidate to form a limestone 
cap for the volcano. Turn now to the North 
American continent where ice floods are sweeping 
over a tremendous area. The glaciers are fed by 
moisture evaporated from the ocean, the sea level 
is lowered, the limestone cap rises above the sur- 
face. Now the waves grind the topmost layer of 
shells into sand and the winds drift the sand into 
dunes which are bound together and by chemical 
action converted into rock and soil. Turn again 
to the continent. It grows warmer, the Ice Age 
wanes and passes, the sea level rises, and the lime- 
stone platform with its hillocks is submerged. 
Other periods of glaciation and deglaciation fol- 
low, each repeating the same process and each 


leaving its record clearly written on the limestone 
platform an accurate time-scale of four ages 
of ice. 

Thus science accounts for the Bermudas, a 
group of aeolian or wind-built islands with hills 
and valleys and lagoons, and a barrier reef whicn 
roughly marks the limits of the limestone plat- 
form and remains the home of molluscs and coral 
animals. Inside the reefs the water is relatively 
shallow ; outside, on the flanks of the mountain it 
attains abyssal depths. A few miles southwest of 
Bermuda are the Challenger and the Argus banks 
the hidden summits of two more volcanoes. 

Ancient Bermuda covered some tnree L hundred 
square miles; modern Bermuda has an area of 
19.4 square miles or 12,437 acres. The building 
of the dunes, the formation of the rock, the de- 
composition of fossils and rock to make the soil 
all these processes covered hundreds of thousands 
of years. How long ago vegetation first took hold 
of the land no man can tell, but when the soil was 
ready the winds, the ocean currents, and the 
birds brought their tribute of seed. Then the 
bare hills were clothed in green and the work of 
fitting the islands for human habitation was com- 

The Bermuda group takes the form of a fish 
hook. St. George's Island at the east end is the 


beginning of the shaft; Ireland Island at the west 
represents the tip of the bend. The reef structure 
the most northerly reef on which coral ani- 
mals live is an ellipse, the axis running from 
northeast to southwest. It is about twenty-two 
miles long and eleven broad in its widest spot* 
On the south or weather fcide the breakers follow 
the shore at distance of a few hundred yards ; on 
the north side they stand out seven miles or more 
from land. Off St. George's is the one channel 
for large ships through the barrier reef, and here 
the pilot is picked up. The passenger sees St. 
David's Lighthouse, the two entrances to St. 
George's Harbour, and the obsolete forts and 
military barracks, symbols of the days when Ber- 
muda was a well-guarded outpost of empire. Over 
the hills he catches a glimpse of the ancient Town 
of St. George's. A sharp turn brings the ship 
around Fort Catherine into Murray's Anchorage. 
Then she runs the full length of the north shore 
of Bermuda, finally passing the dockyard at Ire- 
land Island and entering the Great Sound to reach 
the picturesque channel leading into the harbour 
of Hamilton, the capital. The last phase of the 
voyage consumes little more than an hour. 

But what of Bermuda itself? First the* mind 
should be disabused of a common and ill-founded 


fallacy. Bermuda has no geographical connection 
with the West Indies. It lies in the latitude of 
Charleston* South Carolina, far above the tropical 
zone, the exact bearings of the dockyard being lat. 
32 19' north, long. 64 49' west. The distance 
between New York and Bermuda, counting from 
dock to dock, is 700 nautical miles ; from Ambrose 
Lightship, where the voyage begins, to St. David's 
Head 666 miles intervene. Halifax, N. S., is about 
736 nautical miles from the group ; Cape Hat- 
teras, the nearest point of the continent, is 568 
miles distant. 

It cannot be denied that the Bermuda voyage 
has its discomforts, particularly if the Gulf 
Stream, whose southern edge is 293 miles from 
the islands, be churned to anger. But without 
this strange body of warm water to take the sting 
from the winter gales Bermuda would be unable 
to boast of a sub-tropical climate which suffers 
no extremes or sudden changes of temperature. 
In winter the mercury ranges about 68 de- 
grees and seldom falls below 50; in summer it 
rarely climbs above 86 in the shade, the average 
mean temperature for the year being about 70 
degrees. The rainfall is heavy and generally dis- 
tributed, but the porous soil is nothing more than 
a huge sponge which soaks up water so rapidly 
that all traces of a downpour are removed within 


a few hours. While the climate is not suitable 
in all respects to persons -with weak lungs, neither 
fog nor frost occurs, and the extreme purity of 
the sea air, in combination with the sun, is a gentle 
antidote to over-stimulation of the nervous sys- 
tem. Individuals who suffer from nervous dis- 
orders and heart affections, and convalescents 
from surgical operations and acute diseases, re- 
gain health and strength rapidly in Bermuda. 

Meteorological conditions on the Atlantic sea- 
board naturally influence the winter and spring 
weather. October, November, and December are 
usually delightful months ; in January, February, 
and March the weather becomes cooler and there 
are dry, bracing periods in which light overcoats, 
blankets, and occasional open fires are comforts 
not to be despised. April, May, and June are 
wonderfully calm and pleasant, and then come 
the southern breezes of summer. The heat of 
July, August, and September is relieved by fre- 
quent showers, and though the ,sun beats down 
with surprising intensity, causing a dazzling glare 
from the white roads and houses, summer temper- 
atures actually do not reach the heights which 
New York experiences. 

Withal the climate is healthy y none is more so 
a statement that is made without reserve. Per- 
haps its best recommendation is the longevity of 


the people. That fact speaks not for the climate 
alone, but for the environment in which their lives 
are spent. Theirs is a land of perpetual delight 
to the eye, a little world unto itself, law-abiding, 
peaceful, breeding- contentment and hospitality. 
Its pleasures are the joys of out of doors; its 
keynote of life, simplicity. Why wonder if the 
'Mudians live long and " die of nothing in par- 
ticular," as they say themselves? 

Bermuda is a miniature as to colour and form. 
Its highest hill is but 260 feet above sea level, its 
lowest island is a water-washed rock. A popular 
tradition holds that the islands number 365, one 
for every day in the year; actually, there are not 
more than 150, a comparatively few of which are 
inhabited. Their setting is a sea as changeable 
as the opal, and so transparent that twenty feet 
below its surface the eye may follow the .coral 
world and its denizens. Over the white bottom, 
near the shore the water is shaded into delicate 
greens ; over the shoals it assumes brownish hues ; 
beyond the reefs it varies from bright blue, the 
blue of sapphire, to deep green. Scarcely for a 
moment is its colour fixed ; a ruffling of the surface, 
a shadow, a different slant of sunlight each is 
sufficient to deepen or brighten the tone, so rapid 
is the prismatic play. 

All the colour is not on the surface. Look be- 


neath, through the glass bottom of your boat, as 
it drifts idly over the submarine gardens. Tall 
black rods and purple sea fans, having root in 
the sandy floor, rise upward and wave gracefullj 
in the tide, like tree ferns swept by mild zephyrs. 
Weeds of many colours, scarlet and green sponges, 
clusters and sprays of white coral, spiny sea eggs, 
bulky sea puddings the Chinaman's delicacy 
are scattered about promiscuously, and to ledges 
of rock, coated sometimes in pink, cling brilliant 
anemones and more strange weeds, delicate alike 
in shade and texture. 

There is constant play of fishes. The spotted 
moray coils its length in a coral cavity to watch 
its prey; grey snappers lurk in the shade of an 
overhanging shoal; the fishing fish, motionless 
beside the scarlet sponge, of which it seems a 
part, sets its baited rod above its mouth to lure 
harmless shrimps. Gorgeous parrot fishes ; angels, 
fringed with gold; jaunty sergeant majors, bear- 
ing stripes of rank ; dainty four eyes, red squir- 
rels, white and yellow grunts, schools of silvery 
fry pass in review, and occasionally, if hunger be 
pressing, the octopus, ever ready to baffle an 
enemy by changing colour, is seen to spread its 
repulsive tentacles for the unwary crab. It is all 
unique, and very deceptive, too, for the trans- 
parency of the water makes every living object 
seem almost at arm's length. 


By contrast the beauties of the country are none 
the less alluring. Grandeur of mountain scenery 
is absent, rivers and lakes have no place in the 
ensemble, but the undulating land is ever chang- 
ing in its aspect, romantic in its whimsical vistas. 
The larger inhabited islands are from one to three 
miles in width, terminating on their ocean sides 
in abrupt cliffs, undermined by the surf, curiously 
eroded, carved into fantastic columns, cloisters 
and arches, like the ruins of ancient shrines 
breeding places, be it said, of the shy tropic bird 
or longtail. 

Less precipitous is the shore line of the sheltered 
sounds and bays, studded with dainty islets, broken 
by sandy coves, or fringed with dense thickets of 
mangrove. Here the water is calm and glass-like, 
a crystal mirror, reflecting faithfully the pano- 
rama of hill and dale, so richly clad in sub-tropical 
vegetation* The cedar or juniper is the most 
conspicuous and useful tree. Without it Ber- 
muda would be barren and uninhabitable. It at- 
tracts the rain, catches the salt spray that accom- 
panies the gales, protects the farmer's " patches 5 * 
of productive soil. It is, moreover, a durable and 
ornamental wood, excellent for building purposes 
and those of the craftsman. 

From an artistic viewpoint the cedar's dark, 
thick foliage is merely a background for brighter, 


more diversified flora. Bermuda justly earns its 
title, " Land of the Lily and the Rose." It is a 
wild flower garden at all seasons, supporting not 
only tropical trees and shrubs, but many from 
temperate climes, excepting those which require 
the resting period of frost. From January until 
May rose borders are abloom; at Eastertide the 
far-famed lily carpets the ground by acres and 
perfumes the air an emblem of purity, serene 
and fair, a pleasing substitute for snow. April 
sees the oleander arrayed in pink and crimson, a 
riotous and splendid growth, sending its roots 
deep into the rock. The hedges, twenty feet 
high, serve as wind breaks, and hold their blos- 
soms for nine months. A worthy rival of the ole- 
ander is the showy hibiscus, of which there are 
many varieties, all prolific in bloom. 

There is no end to the flowers. Morning glory 
drapes its purple bells over cedars, wild passion 
vines trail across the rocks ; wherever there is 
moisture and a handful of soil the life plant sends 
up shoots laden with "floppers." Pin a leaf 
against a wall, watch it sprout, and cease to wonder 
why the word " life 53 is applied to this little plant. 
Lantana, topped with yellow and red, grows side 
by side with fennel and the native sage bush; in 
pockets of sand, hard by the water, sea lavender, 
sea marigold, and prickly pear find nourishment* 


There are hedges of Spanish bayonet, for- 
midable as chevaux-de-frise, hedges of acalypha 
(match-me-if-you-can), and flowering pomegran- 
ate; clumps of broad-leaved bananas, groups of 
palmetto, an indigenous palm, out of whose rust- 
ling leaves hats are made. Avocado pears and 
seaside grape trees (not vines) are numerous 
enough to attract attention ; and any man's prop- 
erty are the fiddlewood, mulberry, pride of India, 
pigeon berry, American aloe, and curious pawpaw, 
with its summit crowned by golden fruit, a remedy 
for indigestion. In the glades silk spiders weave, 
and birds of bright plumage, harmonising with 
the flowers, make sport. The cardinal's cheerful 
call is the daybreak signal, and in the morning 
chorus there are notes of bluebird, ground dove, 
chick-of-the-village, goldfinch, and catbird. There 
are no snakes, and if insects are numerous the 
only one to be feared is the centipede, whose bite 
is easily cured. 

When the colonists turned their tribal paths, 
winding over and among the hills, into highways, 
they dug into the solid white rock, as engineers 
cut a bed for steel rails, creating a road system 
that has peculiar features. One minute you may 
be on a level stretch, beside the sea ; the next may 
carry you through a deep cutting with cedars 
meeting overhead in a natural bower to shade the 


maidenhair fern that clings to damp crevices of 
the walls. There are not six places in the islands 
where you can gaze ahead on the road for five 
hundred yards; thus you meet unexpected pic- 
tures, generally including glimpses of water, at 
every turn. 

The freeholds are partitioned by stone walls,, 
between which on hillside and in valley are pockets 
of brick-red soil, the " patches " of onions, pota- 
toes, arrowroot, celery, lilies, and parsley. The 
green of the standing crops is a relief after 
the sombre cedar, and at the end of harvest 
it is supplanted by golden sprays of wild mustard, 
effective while they last and a contrast to the domi- 
nating reds of the flowers. Cottages stand half 
hidden among the cedars, and as likely as not 
you will find near-by quarries from which builders 
took the stone for them. If anything causes the 
stranger to pause, it is a quarry where men are 
chiselling out big square blocks, while others, with 
heavy hand saws, are cutting the stone into build- 
ing sizes and roof slate. The stone is nothing 
more than a matrix of broken shells, and one won- 
ders how a substance soft as cheese can be used 
for building purposes. But there is no secret in 
utilising it. Exposure to air is sufficient to harden 
the stone, and it will last indefinitely. The ma- 
jority of Bermuda houses are from fifty to 


hundred and fifty years old, and more solid than 
the day they were occupied. Construction of 
wooden buildings is forbidden within town limits; 
probably there are not more than a dozen except- 
ing military structures in the colony. As the 
stone successfully resists heat, destructive fires 
are virtually eliminated. 

Mark Twain once said of the Bermuda house: 
" It is exactly the white of the icing of a cake and 
has the same unemphasised and scarcely percepti- 
ble polish." That description will probably hold 
for all time. The white stone is eminently suited 
to the climate. It Is cheap, makes a substantial, 
cool, dry house, and no material could be cleaner. 
The houses arrest attention ; they have the charm 
that derives from seemingly haphazard methods. 
For the Bermudian of older days was a ship- 
wright, not an architect. He introduced ship- 
building ideas into the construction of his houses 
and churches, locking the cedar beams into the 
masonry as if he intended they should resist the 
battering of waves; building big chimneys and 
stone porches. He looked for comfort rather than 
beauty and developed his house in accordance with 
the means at his disposal. He never went above 
two stories, always made a sloping roof to catch 
rain water for household uses, and added a 
verandah if he could afford it. He believed in 


plenty of windows, to which he affixed green 
blinds that pushed outward, thus assuring better 
protection from the sun than any awning could 
give. Generally speaking, he created a comfort- 
able dwelling. On his voyages abroad he pro- 
cured trees and plants for his domain, this being 
the way in which Bermuda gained many foreign 
growths that are now common. Every house has 
its garden, and nearly every garden has a tree 
or shrub that somebody's grandfather brought 
from the West Indies, or perhaps it was the Med- 
iterranean or Brazil. 



WASHINGTON IBVING, sailing past the Bermudas 
on a peaceful day, could hardly realise those 
islands as " the still- vexed Bermoothes " of Shake- 
speare, " once the dread of mariners, and infamous 
in the narratives of the early discoverers for the 
dangers and disasters which beset them." In his 
" Knickerbocker Miscellanies " Irving describes the 
wreck of Sir George Somers, not very accurately, 
to be sure, and tells the amusing story of " The 
Three Kings of Bermuda and Their Treasure of 
Ambergris. 35 He surmises that the story of the 
shipwreck and subsequent events on the lonely isl- 
ands may have furnished Shakespeare with some 
of the elements of his drama of " The Tempest," 
saying finally : 

" But above all, in the three fugitive vagabonds 
who remained in possession of the island of Ber- 
muda, on the departure of their comrades, and in 
their squabbles about supremacy, on the finding 
of their treasure, I see typified Sebastian, Trin- 
culo, and their worthy companion Caliban. . . . 
I do not mean to hold up the incidents and char- 
acters in the narrative and in the play as parallel. 


or as being strikingly similar: neither would I In- 
sinuate that the narrative suggested the play; I 
would only suppose that Shakespeare, heing occu- 
pied about that time on the drama of the * Tem- 
pest/ the main story of which, I believe, is of 
Italian origin, had many of the fanciful ideas of 
it suggested to his mind by the shipwreck of Sir 
George Somers on the * still vext Bermoothes,' and 
by the popular superstitions connected with these 
islands, and suddenly put in circulation by that 

It would be unseemly for an humble writer to 
enter the long-standing controversy over the 
origin of " The Tempest," or to attempt to prove 
that Shakespeare must have had knowledge of 
the picturesque tracts written by Jordan and 
Strachy, but one may quote Lefroy without 
apology : 

" The question whether Shakespeare had the 
Isla de Demonios in view in writing the * Tem- 
pest* can scarcely be passed over in treating of 
the Bermudas. That the play does not contain a 
single plain allusion, and very few phrases, which, 
taken apart from their contest, have a local colour, 
is very apparent. The flight of his fancy also di- 
vided c the still vexed Bermoothes * from the isl- 
and of Prospero by perhaps an imaginary sev- 
erance; but it was In his time believed that the 


true Bermudas were another group not now to be 
found; and not only are the early accounts very 
imperfectly descriptive, but it is also obvious that 
to look for attention to details in such a flight of 
glorious invention would be dull in the last degree. 
Malone was assuredly right in considering the 
circumstances attending the storm by which Sir 
George Somers was wrecked as having suggested 
the title and some of the incidents of the play." 

Lefroy quotes two passages which, he asserts, 
go far to prove that William Strachy's narrative, 
published before the drama's appearance, was the 
one the poet had before him. As Lefroy indicates, 
Strachy's description of " clamours drowned in the 
winds and the winds in thunder," might readily 
have suggested these lines: 

"... Jove's lightnings, the precursors 

O* the dreadful thunderclaps, more momentary 

And sight-outrunning were not . . . 

The fire and cracks 

Of sulphurous roaring, the most mighty Neptune 
Seemed to besiege, and make his bold waves tremble, 
Yea, his dread trident shake." 

The second passage is plainly an allusion to 
St. Elmo's Fire, which Somers called his shipmates 
to observe: 

**I boarded the king's ship: now on the beak, 
Now in the waist, the deck, in every cabin 


I flamed amazement: sometimes I M divide 
And burn in many places: on the topmast, 
The yards, and bowsprit, would I flame distinctly, 
Then meet, and join." 

There is also a little touch of submarine Ber- 
muda in the sea-dirge of the airy spirit Ariel : 

"Full fathom five thy father lies; 
Of his bones are coral made; 
Those are the pearls that were his eyes; 
Nothing of him that doth fade, 
But doth suffer a sea-change 
Into something rich and strange. 
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell, 
Hark ! now I hear them, ding-dong bell." 

We may leave " The Tempest " with a quota- 
tion from Kipling, who knows his Bermuda al- 
most as well as other corners of the Empire. 
Writing to the Spectator in 1898, he said : 

66 May I cite Malone's suggestion connecting 
the play with the casting away of Sir George 
Somers on the island of Bermuda in 1609; and 
further may I be allowed to say how it seems to 
me possible that the vision was woven from 
the most prosaic material, from nothing more 
promising, in fact, than the chatter of a half- 
tipsy sailor at a theatre? . . . Much, doubtless, 
he discarded, but so closely did he keep to his 
original information that those who go to-day 


to a certain beach 1 some two miles from Hamilton 
will find the stage set for Act II. Scene % of 
* The Tempest,' a bare beach, with the wind 
singing through the scrub at the land's edge, a 
gap in the reefs wide enough for the passage 
of Stephano's butt of sack, and (these eyes have 
seen it) a cave in the coral within easy reach of 
the tide, whereto such a butt might be conveniently 
rolled ( 4 My cellar is in a rock by the seaside 
where my wine is hid 5 ). There is no other cave 
for some two miles. * Here *s neither bush nor 
shrub ' ; one is exposed to the wrath of c yond 
same black cloud/ and here the currents strand 
wreckage. It was so well done that, after three 
hundred years, a stray tripper, and no Shake- 
speare scholar, recognised in a flash that old first 
set of all." 

Edmund Waller's name has been associated with 
Bermuda through his " Battel of the Summer 
Islands," published in 1645, but there is no record 
to reveal his presence in the islands, notwithstand- 
ing assertions to the contrary. The name Waller 
occurs frequently in Bermuda history, and there 
is a little promontory on St. David's Island called 
Waller's Point, where a gold ring bearing the 
initials E. W. was picked up by a roving boy, 
but such slender evidence is insufficient to prove 
1 Possibly Kipling nad Spanish Point IB mind. 


that the poet stopped in Bermuda at the time of 
his exile from England. Lefroy states positively 
that Waller was never there and brings proof to 
support his assertion. 

The "Battel of the Summer Islands" relates 
the incidents of a gory fight between two whales 
and a nation, and the fniitfulness of Bermuda is 
glowingly pictured in the first canto. Waller was 
right in speaking of cedar beams of houses and 
liquor made from paknettoes, but when he sang 
of taming savages he drew upon his imagination ; 
Bermuda never had an aboriginal inhabitant. 
Lines from the first canto are herewith appended: 

"Bermuda walTd with rocks, who does not know 
That happy island, where huge lemons grow; 
And orange trees, which golden fruit do bear, 
The Hisperian garden boasts of none so fair: 
Where shining pearl, coral, and many a pound, 
On the rich shore, of ambergreeee is found. 
The lofty cedar, which to heav'n aspires, 
The Prince of trees ! is fewel for then- fires : 
The smoke by which their loaded spits do turn; 
For incense might on sacred altars burn: 
Their private roofs on odVous timber born, 
Such as might palaces for Kings adorn. 
The sweet palmitoes a new Bacchus yield, 
With leaves as ample as the broadest shield: 
Under the shadows of whose friendly boughs 
They sit, carowsing where their liquor grows. 


Figs there implanted thro* the fields do grow, 
Such as fierce Cato did the Romans show; 
With the rare fruit inviting them to spoil 
Carthage, the mistress of so rich a soil. 
The naked rocks are not unfruitful there, 
But, at some constant seasons ev'ry year, 
Their barren tops with luscious food abound. 
And with the eggs of various fowls are crown'd. 
Tobacco is the worst of things which they 
To English landlords, as their tribute pav. 
Such is the mould that the blest tenants feeds 
On precious fruits, and pays his rent in weeds: 
With candy'd plantains, and the juicy pine, 
On choicest melons, and sweet grapes, they dine: 
And with potatoes fat then: wanton swine, 
Nature these cates with such a lavish hand 
Fours out among them, that our coarser land 
Tastes of that bounty; and does doth return. 
Which not for warmth, but ornament is worn: 
For the kind spring, which but salutes us here, 
Inhabits there, and courts them all the year: 
Ripe fruits, and blossoms, on the same trees live: 
At once they promise, what at once they give. 
So sweet the air, so moderate the clime; 
None sickly lives, or dies before his time. 
Heav'n sure has kept this spot of earth uneuist, 
To show how all things were created first ! 

Oh ! how I long my careless limbs to lay 
Under the plaintam's shade, and all the day 
With amorous airs my fancy entertain; 
Invoke the Muses, and improve my vein ! 
No passion there in my free breast should move, 


None but the sweet and best of passions* love. 

There while I sing, if gentle Love be by 

That tunes my lute, and winds the strings so high; 

With the sweet sound of Sacharissa's name 

I '11 make the list'ning savages grow tame." 

Another literary production, that of Andrew 
Marvel, has no historical basis so far as Bermuda 
is concerned. The islands attracted but three 
prominent Puritans, who probably did not flee 
from " prelates' rage " ; nevertheless. Marvel's 
beautiful " Song of the Emigrants in Bermuda " 
has a high place in English literature. It is given 
here in full: 

"Where the remote Bermudas ride 
In ocean's bosom unespied, 
From a small boat that rowed along 
The listening waves received this song : 
*What should we do but sing His praise 
That led us through the watery maze 
Unto an Isle so long unknown, 
And yet far kinder than our own ! 
Where He the huge sea monsters racks 
That lift the deep upon their backs; 
He lands us on a grassy stage, 
Safe from the storms and prelates' rage ? 
He gave us this eternal spring, 
Which here enamels everything; 
And sends the fowls to us in care, 
On daily visits through the air, 


He hangs in shades the orange bright, 
Like golden lamps in a green night; 
And does in the pomegranate close 
Jewels more rich than Ormus shows. 
He makes the figs our mouths to meet, 
And throws the melons at our feet; 
But apples plants of such a price, 
No tree could ever bear them twice. 
With cedars chosen by His hand 
From Lebanon, He stores the land, 
And makes the hollow seas that roar 
Proclaim the ambergris on shore. 
He cast (of which we rather boast) 
The Gospel pearl upon our coast, 
And in these rocks for us did frame 
A temple, where to sound His name. 
Oh let our voice His praise exalt, 
Till it arrive at heaven's vault, 
Which thence perhaps resounding, may 
Echo beyond the Mexique bay." 
Thus sang they in the English boat, 
A holy and a cheerful note, 
And ail the way, to guide then- chime, 
With falling oars they kept the time." 

The true poet of Bermuda is Thomas Moore, 
that humorous, sentimental Irishman, the poet of 
Erin, too. Tom Moore came to the islands from 
Norfolk, Va., by the Driver, a Bermuda-built sloop 
of war, in January, 1804, to fill the rather pro- 
saic post of Registrar of the Court of Vice- 


"Oh, what a tempest whirPd us hither," he 
wrote to George Morgan, an attache of the Brit- 
ish Consulate at Norfolk, by way of describing 
his stormy voyage, and then, 

* k *But bless the little fairy isle! 
How sweetly, after all our ills, 
We saw the dewy morning smile 
Serenely o'er its fragrant hills ! 
And felt the pure, elastic flow 
Of airs, that round this Eden blow, 
With honey freshness, caught by stealth, 
W'arm from the very lips of health ! 

"'Oh! could you view the scenery dear, 
That now beneath my window lies, 
You 'd think, that Nature lavish'd here 
Her purest wave, her softest skies, 
To make a heaven for love to sigh in, 
For bards to live and saints to die in ! 
Close to my wooded bank below 
In glassy calm the waters sleep, 
And to the sun-beam proudly show 
The coral rocks they love to steep 1 

""The fainting breeze of morning fails. 
The drowsy boat moves slowly past, 
And I can almost touch its sails 
That languish idly round the mast. 
The sun has now profusely given 
The flashes of a noontide heaven, 
And, as the wave reflects his beams, 
Another heaven its surface seems ! 


Blue light and clouds of silvery tears 
So pictured o'er the waters He 
That every languid bark appears 
To float along a burning sky ! " 

Moore soon became enamoured of Bermuda. It 
was no great task for him to sing its praises ; he 
wrote of the things as he saw them wooded 
islets, limpid water, graceful boats, white cottages, 
which, said he, " assume often the appearance 
of little Grecian temples." His descriptive pic- 
tures were remarkably faithful what could be 
more so than his verses to the Marchioness 
Dowager of Donegal! ? 

"Believe me, Lady, when the zephyrs bland 
Floated our bark to this enchanted land, 
These leafy isles upon the ocean thrown, 
Like studs of emerald o'er a silver zone; 
Not all the charm, that ethnic fancy gave 
To blessed arbours o'er the western wave, 
Could wake a dream, more soothing or sublime, 
Of bowers ethereal and the spirit's clime ! 

"The morn was lovely, every wave was still, 
When the first perfume of a cedar-hill 
Sweetly awaked us, and with smiling charms 
The fairy harbour woo'd us to its arms. 
Gently we stole, before the languid wind, 
Through plantain shades, that like an awning twined 


And kiss'd on either side the wanton sails, 
Breathing our welcome to these vernal vales; 
While, far reflected o'er the wave serene, 
Each wooded island shed so soft a green, 
That the enamoured keel, with whispering play, 
Through liquid herbage seem'd to steal its way ! 
Never did weary bark more sweetly glide, . 
Or rest its anchor in a lovelier tide ! 
Along the margin, many a brilliant dome, 
White as the palace of a Lapland gnome, 
Brighten'd the wave ; in every myrtle grove 
Secluded bashful, like a shrine of love, 
Some elfin mansion sparkled through the shade; 
And, while the foliage interposing play'd, 
Wreathing the structure into various grace, 
Fancy would love, in many a form, to trace 
The flowery capital, the shaft, the porch, 
And dream of temples, till her kindling torch 
Lighted me back to all the glorious days 
Of Attic genius ; and I seemed to gaze 
On marble, from the rich Pentelic mount, 
Gracing the umbrage of some Naiad's fount/* 

Though Moore lived at St. George's, he spent 
many idle hours at Walsingham House, the home 
of the Trott family, charmingly situated on the 
banks of a quiet pool, whose waters still reflect 
the outlines of this historic dwelling. And, if a 
Ending path among the curious grottoes be fol- 
lowed, you will come to that ancient calabash tree 
under whose branches the poet sat and dreamed 
and wrote. 


"Last night, when we came from the calabash tree, 
When my limbs were at rest and my spirit was free, 
The glow of the grape and the dreams of the day 
Put the magical springs of my fancy in play; 
And, oh ! such a vision as haunted me then 
I could slumber for ages to witness again ! 
The many I like, and the few I adore, 
The friends, who were dear and beloved before. 
But never till now so beloved and dear, 
At the call of my fancy surrounded me here ! 
Soon, soon did the flattering spell of their smile 
To a paradise brighten the blest little isle." 

So run the lines to Joseph Atkinson. 

But it was not romantic scenery alone which 
tempted Moore's poetic fancy, as his " Odes to 
Nea " bear witness. In one of these he pleads : 

"Nay, tempt me not to love again, 
There was a time when love was sweet; 
Dear Nea ! had I known thee then, 
Our souls had not been slow to meet 1 ** 

Moore's boyish heart he was only twenty- 
five was touched, as some believed, or perhaps 
merely fluttered, by Nea Hester Louisa Tucker, 
the fascinating- young wife of William Tucker of 
St. George's. The poet said that the ideal Nea 
of his odes was made out of two " real ones " ; 
nevertheless, his harmless attentions to Mrs. 
Tucker succeeded in arousing the jealousy of her 


husband, and it is related of the latter that he 
religiously excluded his rival's works from his 
house. But the genial, warm-blooded Irishman 
bore no malice, if one may draw conclusions from 
this rhyme: 

4 "Well peace to thy heart, though another's it be, 
And health to thy cheek, though it bloom not for me ! 
Tomorrow, I sail for those cinnamon groves 
Where nightly the ghost of the Carribee roves, 
And, far from thine eye, oh ! perhaps, I may yet 
Its seduction forgive and its splendour forget ! 
Farewell to Bermuda, and long may the bloom 
Of the lemon and myrtle its valleys perfume; 
May spring to eternity hallow the shade, 
Where Ariel has warbled and Waller has stray'd ! 
And thou when, at dawn, thou shalt happen to roam 
Through the lime-cover 'd alley that leads to thy home, 
Where oft, when the dance and the revel were done, 
And the stars were beginning to fade in the sun, 
I have led thee along, and have told by the way 
What my heart all the night had been burning to say 
Oh ! think of the past give a sigh to those times, 
And a blessing for me to that alley of limes !" 

The alley of limes has disappeared and Nea's 
childhood home is now a crumbling ruin, but time 
has served to heighten the memories of Moore's 
sojourn, all too brief, as it was. In April he 
left not for the West Indies but New York, having 
become thoroughly disgusted with his office, which 


gave him a pittance Instead of the handsome in- 
come he had expected. Unfortunately, he placed 
his affairs In the hands of a dishonest deputy, who 
embezzled several thousand pounds, for which the 
poet became responsible in 1818. Fear of im- 
prisonment kept him out of England for two 
years, but the matter was compromised and Moore 
actually retained the office of registrar until 
1844, the authorities then concluding that forty 
years of continued absence from Bermuda was 
sufficient reason for them to supersede him. 

In the autumn of 1858 Anthony Trollope was 
sent to the West Indies to " cleanse the Augean 
stables of our post office system there," he relates 
in his autobiography. He ended his tour of duty 
with a brief visit to Bermuda, a description of 
which appears in " The West Indies and the 
Spanish Main." 

"Looking back at my fortnight's sojourn 
there," he writes, " it seems to me that there can 
be no place in the world as to which there can be 
less to be said than there is about this island 
sayings at least of the sort in which it is my 
nature to express itself." 

Trollope disliked the food and climate; he 
complained reasonably about the backwardness of 
agriculture, despite the opportunities afforded 
planters, the islands having " many gifts of na- 


ture to recommend them." He found Bermuda 
poor. "Perhaps, I should add," he remarks, 
** that on the whole she is contented with her pov- 
erty. And if so, why disturb such contentment? 
. . . The sleepiness of the people appeared to me 
the most prevailing characteristic of the place. 
... To say that they live for eating and drink- 
ing would be to wrong them. They want the 
energy for the gratification of such vicious tastes. 
To live and die would seem to be enough for them. 
To live and die as their fathers and mothers did 
before them, in the same houses, using the same 
furniture, nurtured on the same food, and enjoy- 
ing the same immunity from the dangers of 

Rather an uncomplimentary characterisation, 
but the Bermudians, on their part, regarded 
Trollope as an erratic individual who was more 
fond of sea-baths than hard work; and perhaps 
they neglected to welcome him with their usual 
warmth. However, he could not escape certain 
of Bermuda's charms. He liked the water and the 
" singular way in which the land is broken up 
into narrow necks, islands, and promontories, 
running here and there in a capricious, half- 
mysterious manner. . . . But it is mostly the 
beauty of the sea and not of the land. The 
islands are flat, or at any rate there is no consider- 


able elevation in them. They are covered through- 
out with those scrubby little trees [cedars] and 
although the trees are green and, therefore, when 
seen from the sea, give a freshness to the land- 
scape, they are uninteresting and monotonous on 
shore. I must not forget the oleanders. . . . 
The Bermudas might almost be called the olean- 
der isles." 

More appreciative accounts have come from the 
pens of such well-known American authors as 
the late Mark Twain, Charles Dudley Warner, 
and William Dean Howells, all of whom found de- 
light in the oddities of the " Summer Islands." 
Mark Twain's first impressions were obtained in 
1867, when the steamer Quaker City was nearing 
the end of that memorable voyage described in 
" The Innocents Abroad." " A few days among 
the breezy groves," he wrote, " the flower gardens, 
the coral caves, and the lovely vistas of blue water 
that went curving in and out, disappearing and 
anon again appearing through jungle walls of 
brilliant foliage, restored the energies dulled by 
long drowsing on the ocean, and fitted us for our 
final cruise our little run of a thousand miles 
to New York America home." 

Again, in 1877, Mark Twain found Bermuda 
the " tidiest country in the world. And very much 
the tidiest, too. . . . Bermuda is the right coun- 


try for a jaded man to * loaf ' In. There are no 
hurassments ; the deep peace and quiet of the 
country sink Into one's body and bones and give 
his conscience a rest, and chloroform the legion of 
invisible small devils that are always trying to 
whitewash his hair." (" Some Rambling Notes of 
an Idle Excursion," Atlantic Monthly.} Many 
times after that was written did Mark Twain 
give "his conscience a rest/' by "loafing" in the 
warm sunlight of Bermuda. 

It was in 1894 that Charles Dudley Warner 
recorded his sympathetic observations in Harper's 
Magazine^ saying in the course of a long article: 
cc The honoured descendants of the early mariners 
and adventurers, who live here as their family gen- 
erations here lived, with not much to mark their 
lives, and commonly not an inscription to mark 
their resting place in the whitewashed tombs in 
the flower-grown, or sea-lapped, peaceful church- 
yards these people in their white bungalows 
amid semi-tropical gardens are perhaps as con- 
tented as any in the world, and as little disturbed 
by the fluctuations of modern life." 

u What will be said to you when you tell that 
in the Summer Islands one has but to saw a hole in 
his backyard and take out a house of soft, creamy 
sandstone and set it up, and go to living in it?" 
asked Howells. "What, when you relate that 


the northern and southern evergreens there 
are deciduous trees which, in a clime where there 
is no fall or spring, simply drop their leaves when 
they are tired of keeping them on, and put out 
others when they feel like it? What, when you 
pretend that in the absence of serpents there are 
centipedes a span long, and spiders the bigness of 
bats, and mosquitoes that sweetly sing in the 
drowsing air, but bite not ; or that there are 
swamps but no streams, and in the marshes stand 
mangrove trees whose branches grow downwards 
into the ooze, as if they wished to get back into 
the earth and pull in after them the holes they 
emerge from." (Harper's Magazine, June, 1901.) 
En passant one cannot forget that the late John 
B. Tabb (Father Tabb, poet and teacher) paid 
several visits to Bermuda while serving as cap- 
tain's clerk in the blockade runner Robert E. 
Lee, commanded by John Wilkinson, C. S. N., one 
of the most successful of all men engaged in 
supplying the Confederates with munitions of 



EVHEEEVEB, one goes in Bermuda substantial 
houses are to be found Many are the little 
cottages of colored folk, with a paw-paw tree in 
the backyard near the water tank, and a hibiscus 
flaming near the front doorstep, about which a 
flock of dusky children play. If the place is 
fairly old, it may be surrounded by a wall to 
which, as likely as not, clings a climbing cactus, 
an uncanny, snake-like growth with nocturnal 
habits, for its flowers bloom after sunset. Other 
dwellings, more pretentious, have butteries, out- 
buildings, and gardens enclosed by massive stone 
wails; these have acquired that atmosphere and 
charm which age and pride of ownership so suc- 
cessfully create. They are not estates in the 
broad sense of the word; they are just friendly 
places in a land where Nature is friendly* 

Through their houses the early Bermudians ex- 
pressed themselves and their ambitions. They 
built well and cherished their dwellings ; the proof 
is apparent today. They also conferred, uncon- 
sciously perhaps, a lasting benefit upon the colony, 
for in setting the example of good housing they 


implanted a social doctrine which, in whatever 
land it takes root, strengthens the morale of the 
people and gives them a sense of civic pride and 

It was indeed fortunate that excellent building 
materials were available for the colonists. Neces- 
sarily, in the beginning, they resorted to make- 
shift; they raised huts of palmetto leaves, which 
afforded some shelter, but were not very service- 
able* Next they made use of the cedar a wood 
that gave not only houses but furniture, boats and 
small ships. Finally, they discovered that in the 
hills was an inexhaustible supply of white stone, 
admirably suited to building purposes. This ma- 
terial, composed of calcareous shells, was soft 
and easily worked; it could be cut into blocks 
with a saw and into "slates'* for roofs; it gave 
lime when burned and the lime, mixed with sand, 
provided cement. Moreover, the stone became 
durable when exposed to the air and lime-washed. 
For beams and floors there was the cedar 
Nature's supreme gift to Bermuda. 

To Governor Nathaniel Butler belongs the 
credit for erecting in 1620 the first stone public 
building the Town House at St. George's 
" by waye of example and invitement to others to 
doe the like, as most proper for the nature of the 
place and climate, in respect to titeness against 


the violent dashes of raine, of strength against 
the mightie windes and soudaine hurricanoes, and 
for cooleness, by the thicknesse of the walls and 
the forme of the roofe; and besides, most neces- 
sary in regard of the substance ; for the saueinge 
and preseruation of timber, which in a short time 
(if wasted as heretofore) must needs fall out very 
short and geason [inferior]." 

In these words Butler explained his purpose, 
but it was some eighty years before stone houses 
were generally built. Perhaps the delay was ad- 
vantageous because, in the meantime, Bermuda 
had ceased to be a proprietary colony of tenants, 
working for landlords in England, and was now 
a domain of freeholders firmly settled on the land. 
Freeholders they were, but not farmers, for the 
sea offered greater opportunities; the land was 
simply a haven to which they could return after 
their voyages in ships which they themselves had 
built for trade with distant ports. Many of these 
Bermudians were sturdy captains and shrewd 
traders and in time they were able to realise the 
sailor's traditional dream a house and a garden. 
And, as sailors and shipwrights, they gave to 
their house-building operations a nautical flavour ; 
that is 5 they worked into their dwellings certain 
sound principles of shipbu3dng. Undoubtedly, 
the rural dwellings of old England gave inspira- 


tion to their architectural efforts ; but in their 
modifications of the original model they achieved 
an effect that was wholly Bermudian. Simplicity of 
line was the keynote; and simplicity was main- 
tained when growing families demanded the addi- 
tion of projecting wings. " This was naturally 
done in a rather haphazard fashion," says Pro- 
fessor John S. Humphreys in " Bermuda Houses," 
" but frequently with a distinct feeling of sym- 
metry and order. The irregular additions were 
of great variety, sometimes producing by chance 
masses that composed in picturesque fashion. At 
other times the final outcome of successive addi- 
tions was less fortunate with its complications of 
roofs and gutters. But the usual luxuriance of 
surrounding planting, the patina of age, and the 
very naivete of arrangement makes even these 

Let us then enter the gate of a typical Bermuda 
garden, part of which may readily be the quarry 
where stone was cut and chiseled to build the 
house and its surrounding walls. The trees, the 
vines, the shrubbery have taken possession of the 
walls, made a green setting for the white house, 
and given it an atmosphere of intimate seclusion. 

The entrance to the house is a flight of brick 
steps, with stone parapets on each side. At the 
top landing the parapets curve outward, and Ber- 


mudians call this odd arrangement the " welcoming 
arms " - a symbol of native hospitality. Close 
to the house is a most important object the 
tank into which flows Heaven-sent water caught 
in deep gutters on the roof of the dwelling. This 
is the family supply and a clean, lime-washed roof 
is essential to its purity. Nearby, or perhaps 
attached to the house, is the buttery, a peculiarly 
Bermudian institution. It resembles a tiny pyra- 
mid, with thick walls, shuttered ventilators, and a 
high-peaked roof. Here before the days of ice 
in Bermuda, the family kept its perishable food. 
Another outhouse, the old slave quarters, contains 
an open hearth and a brick oven. It is now a 
store-room or perhaps a guest house; draped in 
pink corallita, it is essentially a part of the 

The garden is a natural oasis without formal- 
ity ; no landscape architect has had a hand in its 
making. Yet there is a variety of planting and 
a pleasing blend of colour by no means confined to 
the flowers, for the leaves of many tropical plants 
are colorful in themselves. A Bermuda garden 
without a clump of bananas is hardly typical; 
here they are in flower and in fruit. And there 
are other fruits wonder lemons, limes, the Suri- 
nam cherry, loquat, pomegranate, and an avocado 
pear for good measure. The tall cedar that towers 


above the house has sentimental value, apart from 
grace and beauty. As an insignificant seedling it 
decorated the wedding cake of a bride and was 
planted by her, according to tradition. Hence 
it is a wedding cake tree and a family treasure. 
Its topmost twig is reserved for a daily visitor, 
the garden's cardinal, who comes at daybreak to 
sing matins and at dusk to trill his evensong. A 
cheerful soul with a sweet voice, he is more shy 
than the ground dove that runs along the path, 
or the noisy catbird, in the thicket of pigeon 
berry. Another cedar, not so precious, is covered 
with Rangoon creeper whose white stars pop open 
at sunset, only to turn pink and again a darker 
pink, in a few hours. There is little shade beneath 
the cedars, or under the rustling leaves of the 
palmetto, but the poinciana is a royal green um- 
brella, cool to the eye and delightful in all respects. 
Along the borders are plants familiar to north- 
ern eyes and many that flourish only under the 
southern sun. Roses give themselves little rest; 
they bud, bloom and repeat the process through 
the year. Geraniums are almost shrubs, so vigor- 
ous do they grow; the nasturtium is a powerful 
vine. There is a profusion of phlox, balsam, be- 
gonia, periwinkle and gaillardia; there are lillies, 
too, the Easter lily, calla, eucharist, and amaryl- 
lis. If one attempted to list all that the borders 


contain the result would be a botanical catalogue, 
but one cannot omit a few of striking oddities: 
the snow plant, for instance, mingling white leaves 
with green ; the croton, streaked with red and yel- 
low; plumbago, sky blue; the exotic Chinese pa- 
per plant ; the delicate quaking grass, the plumed 
pampas grass ; poinsettia, the Christmas flower of 
northern florists; the desert plant, bearing per- 
forated leaves through which the sand can blow, 
and a fruit protected by a monk's white cowl 
which obligingly curls back at maturity to admit 
the sun and hasten the ripening process. A corner 
of the wall is completely hidden by the purple 
bouganvillea ; the blue solanum has another sec- 
tion; thunbergia spreads a golden yellow against 
weathered stone. Shrubs, plants and vines all 
mingle their blossoms. Some are at their best in 
winter; others prefer to display their glories in 
summer ; whatever the season the garden is never 
without colour, even though the sun scorches and 
a dry spell withers the foliage. Every garden, 
however humble, has its memories; one grateful 
memory of this garden is the beneficent shower 
that falls suddenly and releases the fragrance of 
soil and vegetation. It is the fragrance of the 
good earth, soothing yet indefinable. 

There are Bermuda gardens that achieve a 
measure of formality. Some of these, relatively 


new, were made under the direction of landscape 
architects to whom the Bermudians must give 
thanks for introducing decorative plants and 
shrubs hitherto unknown in the islands. But no 
credit attaches to architects and huilders who, in 
designing new houses, have departed from the 
original native model and erected dwellings that 
might be suitable for other lands, but are wholly 
out of place in Bermuda. 



BERMUDA'S unique geographical layout, with its 
garland of islands scattered over a painted sea, 
created not only a notably picturesque effect, but 
a difficult problem in transportation for its people. 
" The whole and uniursall bodye of the Islands 
put together consist of divers small broken peeces 
of drye land seuered one from another by certayne 
narrow breaches and inlets of sea." Thus spoke 
the first General Assembly, which further pointed 
out the inconvenience of travel in the new-born 
colony. Hence the General Assembly in 1620 
passed acts for the making of highways and for 
the building and maintenance of bridges at strate- 
gic points. So began a road system that was 
destined to have a profound influence on the social 
and economic life of Bermuda. 

Boats and tribal paths sufficed the early set- 
tlers ; unless they followed the sea they were casual 
travellers, many of them never going beyond their 
parish boundaries. They were content to live 
placidly within sight of their own hearthstones; 
whatever lay a few miles beyond gave them no 
great concern. One of the first important acts of 


their leaders was the introduction of cattle ; horses 
came later; much later still came carts and car- 
riages ; and slowly there evolved a comprehensive 
highway system that made Bermuda known as a 
land of good roads long before the " good roads " 
campaign had gained headway in the United 

In this connection one recalls the bicycling 
furore of the 1890*s which brought to Bermuda 
hundreds of American cyclists with their nickel- 
plated high wheels and what was then known as 
the " safety." They came not singly but in clubs, 
and they scorched the white roads with character- 
istic ardour. Incidentally, they returned home to 
preach the doctrine of good roads; and they 
proved to the Bermudians that the bicycle was a 
vehicle admirably suited to their needs. The re- 
sult was that Bermuda quickly took to the wheel 
and made it an important factor in local trans- 

Horse and bicycle served admirably. To be 
sure, the time consumed in travel was out of all 
proportion to the distance covered, but there was 
no need to hurry in leisurely and conservative 
Bermuda. When, however, the colony reached out 
into the tourist market a different situation arose. 
The tourist influx led to the construction of new 
hotels, the development of a greater variety of 


business enterprises and services, and it put a 
heavier load on the liverymen. It became apparent 
that a more efficient and economical system of 
transport was necessary. 

The automobile was the answer. Motor buses 
were imported, but they did not meet with general 
approval. It was argued that the roads were too 
narrow, and the turns too sharp for motor traffic. 
Moreover, the horses did not like their mechanical 
rivals ; accidents added finally to a storm of dis- 
approval. This experiment was the beginning of 
a protracted and often bitter controversy. In 
1908, after a short trial, the buses were banished 
by act of the Colonial Parliament. Nevertheless, 
the experiment lasted long enough to divide the 
Bermudians into two camps, one favouring the re- 
turn of motor vehicles, the other standing by the 
traditional horse and carriage. 

Repeatedly the motor advocates pressed their 
claims on the Colonial Parliament and as often 
they were beaten. Some of them would have 
been satisfied with a restricted motor bus service 
under government supervision; others demanded 
the unrestricted entry of automobiles. Parliament 
was moved by the agitation only to the extent 
that government and local authorities were per- 
mitted to import automobiles and tractors for 
utilitarian purposes and to motorize fire and 


ambulance services. The legislators realised, 
however, that a broader compromise was desir- 
able in order to meet the persistent demand for 
quicker and cheaper transportation a demand 
emphasized by the growing volume of tourist 
traffic and finally, in 1924, Parliament granted 
a franchise for the construction of a standard 
guage railway with motor-driven cars drawing 

The Bermuda Railway Company, organized to 
carry the plan into effect, met with numerous 
financial and engineering difficulties. Not the 
least of its difficulties involved the acquisition of 
its right of way. In some cases property own- 
ers were not disposed to give up their land; in 
other cases high prices were demanded of the 
company. The various legal proceedings for 
acquiring the right of way delayed the project 
unnecessarily, added considerably to the estimated 
cost of construction, and compelled the company 
to seek extensions of time for the completion of 
the work. Patience and persistence conquered 
after seven years, and on October 31, 1931, the 
Hamilton to Somerset section was formally 
opened. Two months later (December 23) the 
Hamilton-St. George's section began operation. 
Thus a new era opened in Bermuda, and the king- 
dom of the horse was shaken, if not shattered. 


In a larger country the Bermuda Railway would 
be called a motorised trolley road, but in Bermuda 
it is the " railway " something that binds the 
colony together in a way hitherto deemed impos- 
sible, changes old habits of life, and creates tradi- 
tions far different from those that surrounded the 
horse-drawn victorias. Railroad history is re- 
plete with illustrations of similar transitions. 
Before the railway had long been in operation, 
the Bermudians rediscovered their country. On 
the route they found unsuspected vistas and areas 
that had formerly escaped their attention; also, 
they were confronted with an optical illusion 
the islands seemed much more extensive. They 
realised* too ? that the engineers had created not 
only an object of utility, but a scenic route which 
lent itself to floral srabellishment. Why not, said 
some of these travellers, encourage Nature to 
heal and cover the scars of construction and so 
make a railway of flowers? In the Bermuda 
climate vegetation needs little encouragement; 
even before the suggestion was made, Nature had 
begun the healing process. 

Let us take a glimpse at Bermuda from the 
railway, going first from Hamilton to Somerset. 
One may travel first or second class ; in either case 
the accommodations are comfortable. The cars 
are roomy and the windows large; they might be 


called observation cars, without stretching the 
imagination. Boarding the train in Front Street, 
one is carried along the length of Hamilton Har- 
bour, with its shipping, its yachts and speed boats, 
and the Paget shore lying across the blue water. 
The city is now left behind, the train swinging 
south over a trestle into Paget East. King 
Edward Hospital and the Agricultural Station 
are passed, the line curving deeper into Paget and 
heading west. Stations or " halts " are not 
spaced far apart and no attempt at high speed 
is permitted. Safety, rather than speed, is the 
order ; hence one can enjoy the country. On this 
section, particularly in Paget and Warwick Par- 
ishes, one gains the impression of spaciousness, 
perhaps because, for a short period, there is no 
view of the water. The hills, clothed to their tops 
with cedar, seem to close about the railway; the 
valleys fall away gently. Here is rural Bermuda 
at its best, with gorgeous splashes of color where 
the oleander flaunts its red, pink and white. Morn- 
ing glory creeps up an enbankment to the rails, 
weaving a blue and green carpet ; below is a patch 
of red earth* a farm clearing; nearby the farm 
house, with a banana patch; here and there a 
palmetto, or perhaps a pigeon berry or a hibiscus. 
The scene changes landscape merges into 
seascape. RiddelPs Bay appears, the Little 


Sound, the Great Sound, sweeping widely to the 
Dockyard. The sun is on the water, playing its 
prismatic tricks ; it bathes the hills and sharpens 
the outline of every rock and tree. We are now 
in Southampton, not far from the north shore. 
Striking inland again, the train skirts some of 
the richest farming country, then goes on to 
Somerset Bridge, which joins Somerset Island to 
the Main, and finally to the terminus near Man- 
grove Bay. The last stage of the journey is 
captivating. Somerset, with its hays and its 
beaches, its comfortable villas and peaceful gar- 
dens, and its tall, sturdy oleander hedges, lays 
claim to being one of the most beautiful spots in 
Bermuda. No one disputes the claim. 

Now the eastern, or Hamilton-St. George's sec- 
tion, virtually an " all-water route," contrasting 
sharply with the rural scenery along the western 
line ! Leaving Front Street through a short tun- 
nel, the train curves around the recreation area, 
an ambitious project reclaimed from Pembroke 
Marsh; passes under the brow of Mount Langton, 
atop which stands Government House ; and winds 
through the backyards of North Village. Here 
we come to the Atlantic; the picture is a mosaic 
of ocean, rock-strewn coast line, tiny boat har- 
bours, hill and dale, the whole bathed in brilliant 
sunlight. The rails descend gently toward the 


water, soon reaching the trestle over the Flatts 
Village inlet, a miniature harbour whose beauty Is 
locked in memory for all time. There is a fleeting 
glimpse of Harrington Sound into which the har- 
bour pours its tides; one looks down upon cot- 
tages and gardens, always smiling and inviting. 
East of the trestle is the station where passengers 
alight for a visit to the Aquarium, merely a few 
steps down the road. 

Before the next " halt " the traveller has crossed 
a characteristic white beach Shelly Bay and 
has discovered that there is a variety of beauty in 
the eroded rocks along shore. At the Crawl and 
again at Bailey's Bay, the rock-lovers they are 
not a small minority find superb examples of 
that form of sculpture which Nature, using the 
wind and the sea as her instruments, alone can 
fashion. Sliding along, we reach the eastern end 
of the Main, crossing Coney Island, and the swing 
bridge that ends at Ferry Point. This Is a 
pioneer route ; here generations of Bermudians 
used a flat-boat ferry to reach St. George's Island, 
discarding it after the Causeway was opened for 
traffic. Coney Island, far different from New 
York's scintillating Coney, has a small isolation 
hospital and an ancient salt house relic of an 
almost forgotten industry; on Ferry Point is a 
Martello tower and ruins which recall the day 


when the point was an important military post. 
The view here is unusual, even for Bermuda. 
On one side is the ocean, on the other is the 
Reach, the inside water passage to St. George's 
Harbour. Bordering the Reach on the south is 
the Causeway, beyond that highway is Castle 
Harbour, with its outlying islands, bleak and 
lonely, in the distance. Thus the north and the 
south shore are within the range vision. The 
train proceeds along the north shore of St. 
George's, high above the water. The land here 
has suffered severely from deforestation, for which 
the original settlers must be blamed. The cedar 
is scrub, there are out-croppings of rocks, old and 
weathered, but in the thin soil lantana and prickly 
pear thrive, and the oleander, never discouraged, 
maintains a foothold. On the run from Ferry 
Point, one sees the Biological Station at Shore 
Hills on the Reach; and then Mullet Bay, the 
train emerging through the backyards of Welling- 
ton to the main highway. Then comes the ancient 
capital, St. George's standing beside its spacious 
harbour. The terminus is at Sunnybank wharf, 
the steamship landing, A few minutes' walk takes 
the passenger into town, and he will probably 
agree, after roaming around St. George's, that if 
the railway had been carried into the heart of this 
old community, its character and much of its 


gracious charm would have been forever destroyed. 

Such is the Bermuda Railway and such is Ber- 
muda from a railway car. Those who accept the 
implements of progress but do not forget the past, 
will recall the intimate fellowship of the road 
which prevailed when the rickety, horse-drawn 
buses incomparable bone-shakers were the 
time-honoured mode of conveyance for travellers 
who could not afford to hire a rig for the day. In 
theory, the bus was a passenger vehicle; in prac- 
tice, it was an express wagon loaded with groc- 
eries, household goods, turkeys, chickens and dogs, 
and draped with bicycles, beds, matting and rolls 
of oilcloth, all securely lashed. But there was 
always room for an extra passenger, even if the 
driver had to give up his seat and stand on the 
wagon pole. 

The driver was more than a pilot ; he was guide, 
philosopher and friend to the people along his 
route. He did their shopping in town; he de- 
livered his commissions faithfully; he carried the 
grist of news from parish to parish; he bore 
tidings of the sick ; he conveyed written and verbal 
messages ; he knew the daily crop prices, and he 
was weather wise. Always he was patient and 
good natured ; his friends were many. 

Now he is gone and with him something that 
was a characteristic bit of Bermuda road life as 
it was in the days before the railway came. 



DESPITE the fact that Bermuda has a railway and 
is wedded to the bicycle, the ruler of the road is 
the horse and the music of the road is the clatter 
of hoofs. To be sure one sometimes hears the horn 
of a motor lorry and the purr of its engine 
which suggests a paradox : In Bermuda the auto- 
mobile exists for some; for others it is non- 
existent. If a Bermudian is a road mender with 
rating as a government employee he may have 
the opportunity to ride in a motor vehicle ; if he 
is private citizen, or even an official of high rank, 
he rides behind a horse. The automobile is sim- 
ply a unit of government reserved for heavy work 
and has no other standing under the law. All 
this is accepted with good humour by the tourist 
from the world of motors overseas. In truth he 
takes kindly to the horse and carriage; it moves 
him back to another day and he actually finds 
virtue in the old way of travel, slow as it may be. 
And he takes kindly to the coloured driver who 
acts as his courier on sight-seeing expeditions. 
The driver is somewhat of a personage. He has 
been on the road since boyhood ; he knows his land- 


marks; his store of local history as it has been 
handed down by word of mouth, is far from 
inaccurate. Moreover, he is a rough and ready 
botanist, for a knowledge of trees and shrubs and 
flowers is part of his stock in trade. He uses the 
broad British " A " and he is proud of his country 
and of his allegiance to the Union Jack. 

Sight-seeing by carriage has a social flavour. 
Be it remembered that Bermuda is so compact and 
its life so interwoven that courtesy is an inherent 
attribute of all Bermudians. One hour on shore is 
sufficient for the stranger to learn that it is cor- 
rect to pass the time of day with every man, 
woman, and child, white or coloured, and that the 
roadside salute he receives is the outward mani- 
festation of native hospitality, intended to make 
one feel at ease in a land where small amenities of 
life count for much. Simple gesture that it is, it 
warms the stranger's heart; he is recognised as a 
guest and made welcome. 

Take a look at Bermuda from a carriage; you 
may drive from one end of the group to the other 
without ferrying. St. David's Island is joined to 
St. George's by bridge, and St. George's to the 
Main, or Bermuda proper, by a causeway nearly 
two miles long. From the Main a succession of 
bridges leads to Somerset, Watford, Boaz and 
Ireland Islands, thus completing a continuous 


roadway of some twenty-odd miles. Parallel and 
intersecting roads enable one to visit the byways 
and so it is possible to get a true picture of Ber- 
muda from all aspects. This chapter is an attempt 
to convey the picture, the different localities, be- 
ginning at the west end, being grouped under 
separate headings. 


These islands, which are reached by ferry from 
Hamilton, as well as by road, are reserved for 
the Royal Navy, Bermuda being the headquarters 
of the America and West Indies Squadron. The 
dockyard at Ireland, with its massive limestone 
machine shops and warehouses, is like a bit of old 
England transplanted in Bermuda. The shops 
are equipped with modern machine tools and are 
busy places when the ships are refitting. A power- 
ful floating drydock, capable of lifting 17,500 
tons, is moored within a breakwater on the south 
side of the island. The yard is open, to visitors. 
One of its relics is a bell supposed to have be- 
longed to H. M* S. Shannon and damaged in her 
engagement with the United States frigate Chesa- 
peake off Boston, on June 1, 1813. In the early 
part of the nineteenth century, when drafts of 
convicts were sent to Bermuda to build the dock- 
yard, the forts, and other military establishments. 


toward the mysterious stone pile. In these docu- 
ments, too, are related traditional tales of how the 
treasure was buried, and how ancient and credible 
inhabitants had seen phantom ships sail about 
Cross Island and " fire drakes " alight upon it. 
Some years ago it was suspected that treasure 
had been retrieved at Spanish Point by a visitor 
to Bermuda. The evidence of his search was ap- 
parent, but he escaped from the islands before he 
could be questioned. 


Leaving Watford, one crosses to Somerset 
Island by the swing bridge over the entrance to 
Mangrove Bay, where Captain Ord's powder ships 
are supposed to have anchored (see Chapter V). 
Mangrove Bay, an alluring inlet fringed by small 
islands, is the western terminus of the railway. 
One quickly succumbs to the attractions of Som- 
erset: its comfortable houses, its gardens, long 
under cultivation; its tall, flower-laden oleander 
hedges, its harbours and beaches. The residents 
of this community, proud of their heritage, have 
successfully endeavoured to retain the atmosphere 
of old Bermuda, and that is not the least of 
Somerset's charms charms that have attracted 
to the island numbers of artists and writers. The 
highroad from Mangrove Bay passes the parish 


church, St. James's, and leads onward over Scaur 
Hill to tiny Somerset Bridge, which joins Somerset 
to the Main. Under this bridge the tides of the 
Great Sound meet those of Ely's Harbour, an 
exquisite sheet of water, broken by clusters of 
islands and dainty coves. Here at Gibb's Point 
across an inlet called The Scaur, are the Cathe- 
dral Rocks, a striking example of eroded lime- 
stone. Another landmark is Wreck Hill, standing 
on an arm of land partly enclosing Ely's Harbour, 
and looking out upon the southwest breakers, the 
graveyard of many fine ships. An oddity of 
Somerset Bridge is a trap door that is lifted to 
give room for the masts of fishing boats passing 
through the channel. On the western side of the 
island is Long Bay, sweeping in a graceful curve 
to Daniel's Head, which is virtually land's end. 
The greater portion of Sandys Parish, named for 
Sir Edwin Sands, one of the shareholders of the 
Bermuda Company, is included within Somerset 
Island. The name Somerset is accounted for by 
the fact that Sir George Somers, upon his return 
from Virginia in 1610, intended to establish a 
plantation on the island, which was to be known 
as Somers Seate. 

Below that part of Sandys on the Main is 


Southampton Parish in which during the days of 
settlement the Earl of Southampton held land, 
hence the name. Some of the best soil is found in 
Southampton and also some of the most progres- 
sive farmers. The main road, a continuation of 
the highway that runs through Sandys, follows 
the north shore to Jew's Bay, whence a spur 
climbs to Gibb's Hill Lighthouse. From the ob- 
servation gallery of the lighthouse, three hundred 
and sixty- two feet above sea level, Bermuda ap- 
pears as a great relief map set in a blue frame 
that is the ocean. From Hamilton in the north- 
east the panorama sweeps westward across the 
islands of the Great Sound to the dockyard, thence 
to Somerset, finally to the foaming southwest 
breakers. Below are the farms of Southampton ; 
and as one circles the gallery the hills and valleys 
of Warwick and Paget, and the contours of the 
central and eastern parishes come within the range 
of vision. Roads, the railway route, bays and 
lagoons are neatly etched into the map. 

The lighthouse is an iron tower rising one hun- 
dred and sixteen feet, with a petroleum vapour 
incandescent lamp, the beam being projected by 
a revolving lens. The flash is visible about twenty- 
eight miles, The lighthouse went into service on 
May 1, 1846, and from time to time improvements 
have been made in the apparatus. With its half- 


million candle power, Gibb's Hill ranks among the 
major lighthouses of the world. 

A visit to Southampton is not complete without 
a detour from the north to the south longitudinal 
road, beginning at the parish church of St. Ann's, 
by the sea, the locality being known as Port Royal. 
St. Ann's is unique among the parish churches in 
that its services are held to the accompaniment of 
the ocean surge, wHich is never subdued. 

A story told about a former rector of St. Ann's 
illustrates the character of the old seafarers here- 
abouts. Not a few Bermuda captains rested under 
the suspicion of being pirates, and when the trade 
of piracy lost its glory they took to the next best 
thing wrecking. "Lame ducks," as the Ber- 
mudians called distressed vessels, were welcome 
visitors, and when one made a dangerous landfall 
and drifted over the reefs she was quickly sur- 
rounded by whaleboats and gigs, whose crews re- 
velled in the prospect of salvage. Many an un- 
fortunate skipper saved ship and cargo only to 
lose both in satisfying the claims of wreckers, and 
thus Bermuda acquired an unsavory reputation 
among mariners. To this day the signal denoting 
a ship passing the islands is known as the " star- 
vation flag," although wrecking long ago ceased 
to be a lucrative occupation. But to return to 
the rector. He was preaching fervently one stormy 


Sunday when a man entered St. Ann's and whis- 
pered to several members of the congregation, who 
promptly reached for their hats. The rector, 
noting that his congregation was uneasy, stopped 
his sermon and asked: 

"John Smith, what are you saying to these 
people ?** 

" Parson," said John Smith, " there's a ship on 
the southwest breakers." 

Sabbath piety, as the rector knew, must disap- 
pear under the circumstances, and he announced 
impressively: "The congregation will remain 
seated until I take off my surplice, and then, boys, 
we'll all start fair." 


Crossing the Southampton boundary, one enters 
the parish which takes its name from one of the 
Earls of Warwick. Here, as in Southampton, the 
soil is fertile and Warwick farmers take excellent 
crops from their land. Here, too, are substantial 
residences, some of which are owned or leased by 
Americans and Canadians. At Spithead, an his- 
toric house facing the Great Sound, Eugene 
O'Neill, the distinguished American playwright, 
wrote some of the plays which gave him high rank 
among modern dramatists. Three main roads run 
east and west through Warwick, and the parish 


also has the benefit of railway service. The north 
carriage road is laid along the shore that faces 
the Great Sound; the middle road cuts through 
the centre of the parish; the south road is the 
ocean highway. On this shore at the western end 
of the parish is Warwick Camp, where troops are 
trained and rifle meets are held. The south coast, 
with the breakers only a few hundred yards dis- 
tant, has rugged beauty; on a stormy day, when 
the surf beats hard and the spray is flung over 
cliff and headland, the picture is inspiring. On 
the middle road stands the parish church, St. 
Mary's, erected in 1832, and Lough Memorial 
Hall ; nearby, on a cross road is Khyber Pass, the 
deepest artificial canyon in Bermuda and a monu- 
ment to the industry of the old road builders who, 
with pick and shovel, won their way through a 
limestone hill to obtain the desired outlet. East 
of St. Mary's is the Presbyterian kirk Christ 
Church, built in 1719; adjacent to the church is 
Thorburn Memorial Hall. The congregation 
existed long before 1719, and is believed to be 
the oldest of the Presbyterian denomination in any 
British colony. A mural tablet commemorates the 
services held by George Whitefield, a famous 
English evangelist, in 1748. Whitefield had been 
denied the use of the parish churches, but Christ 
Church gave him welcome and the pulpit from 


which he preached is one of its treasured relics. 
Warwick has two golf courses Riddell's Bay, 
and the course of the Belmont Manor Hotel. At 
Salt Kettle stands another hotel Inverurie 
and in this little village is Glencove, the house 
occupied by Woodrow Wilson when he visited Ber- 
muda in 1912 as President-elect of the United 



East of Warwick lies Paget, for whose name 
Lord Paget was responsible. The northern shore 
of this parish is the southern boundary of Hamil- 
ton Harbour; from the Paget heights one has 
a wide panoramic view of Bermuda's capital. 
Paget is a highly favoured residential area. Its 
houses reveal the attention lavished upon them 
by generations of owners ; its gardens are among 
the best to be found in Bermuda. The south 
shore of Paget is a splendid stretch of sea coast, 
with numerous beaches and bays. One particular 
strip of white sand Elbow Beach is a favour- 
ite resort for bathers. Here is the Elbow Beach 
Hotel and a nine-hole golf course, and hereabouts 
are sand dunes built by the drift of particles from 
the beaches. At one time when the drift was un- 
usually active the sand buried a house until only 
the chimney was visible. East of Elbow Beach 


The boilers or coral atolls, circular cups of froth- 
ing water, stand in close to shore, and on wild 
days the rumble of the surf is like that of dis- 
tant thunder. Near the junction of the south 
and middle roads stands St. Paul's, the parish 
church, the oldest portion of which dates back 
to 1796; in the eastern section of Paget are the 
experimental farms and gardens of the Agricul- 
tural Station, an institution which has been of 
untold benefit to the farmer. Adjacent to the 
Agricultural Station is the King Edward VII 
Hospital, which is well-equipped and generously 
supported by the government. 
Pembroke Parish is entered from Paget at the 
head of Crow's Lane, an old name for Hamilton 
Harbour. It was in this locality, according to 
tradition, that Sarah Bassett, an aged coloured 
woman, was burned at the stake in 1730 for at- 
tempting to poison her master's family. The 
sentence was imposed by Chief Justice Outer- 
bridge in these words : " It is the sentence of 
this court: That you Sarah Bassett, the prisoner 
at the Barr, be returned to the prison from 
whence you came, and from thence you are to 
be conveyed to the place of execution, where a 
Pile of wood is to be made and provided, and you 
are to be there fastened to a sufficient stake, and 


there to be burnt with fire until your body be 
dead. And may the Lord have mercy on your 
soul." The day of the execution was exceedingly 
hot, and a broiling day in Bermuda is still de- 
scribed as " a regular Sally Eassett day." 

Spread over the southern slopes of Pembroke 
Parish, to which the Earl of Pembroke lent his 
name, Hamilton is a dazzling town of whitewashed 
limestone, regularly laid out, with broad streets, 
sewerage and water systems, and substantial stone 
wharves, the latter a profitable source of revenue 
to the municipality. Hamilton's automatic tele- 
phone service radiates to all parts of the colony 
and its electric power station is the distributing 
centre for light and power. There are two banks 
the Bank of Bermuda and N. T. Butterfield 
and Son, Ltd. and two newspapers the 
Royal Gazette and Colonist Daily, and Mid- 

Hamilton's history dates back to the latter 
part of the eighteenth century when trade be- 
came centred about the shores of the Great Sound, 
creating the necessity for a port to serve the 
central and western parishes. After years of 
agitation the town was founded in 1790 and 
named in honour of the then Governor, Henry 
Hamilton. On June 30, 1793, the town was in- 
corporated and on January 1, 1815, Hamilton 


succeeded St. George's as the seat of government, 
the Assembly meeting at the Town Hall two weeks 
later. Since that time Hamilton has steadily In- 
creased in wealth and importance, rising to the 
dignity of a city in 1898, by special act of the 
Colonial Parliament. Today the greatest con- 
centration of population is in Pembroke Parish, 
the census figures of 1931, giving a total of 
10,522 people. The local government or Cor- 
poration of Hamilton, consists of the Mayor, the 
Board of Aldermen, and the Common Council. 

The chief port of entry for passenger steamers, 
Hamilton is also the distributing point for im- 
ports and exports; its main business thorough- 
fare, Front Street, is always a lively and busy 
spot. Indeed, the big passenger ships lying at 
wharves parallel to the street, seem almost a part 
of it, Hamilton's shops are attractive and pro- 
gressive in their methods, the wealthier merchants 
sending buyers to New York, London and Paris, 
for they learned long ago that the tourist de- 
mands goods of high quality. Because of the 
relatively low duty, they are often able to offer 
excellent clothing and novelties at reasonable 

The social life is enhanced by the presence of 
the Governor and Admiral in residence, and by 
the hospitality of the military forces stationed 


at Prospect. Three large hotels, the Princess on 
the harbour; the Bermudiana, with its heautiful 
gardens ; and the Hamilton add to the gayety of 
the city. There are a number of smaller hotels 
and boarding houses; and the inevitable picture 
houses. For the convenience of strangers there is 
a visitors 5 information bureau, all ships being met 
by agents of the bureau. 

Hamilton's central and dominating feature is 
the Cathedral a striking Gothic edifice stand- 
ing in Church Street. The building was begun 
in 1885 to replace Trinity Church, which had 
been destroyed by fire, and no effort has been 
spared to make the Cathedral worthy of the 
Church of England. Selected stones from the 
United Kingdom, Indiana and Nova Scotia have 
been blended with Caen and the native limestone, 
the structure revealing the meticulous care of 
architect and builder. Interior fittings are in 
keeping with the design. The pulpit is a copy 
of the famous carved pulpit of St. Giles's Cathe- 
dral in Edinburgh; among the memorials is a 
replica of the tablet erected in honour of Sir 
George Somers at Whitechurch, England. 

When state services are held at the Cathedral 
the scene is most brilliant and effective. Detach- 
ments of imperial troops and of the Bermuda Vol- 
unteer Rifle Corps, with band and colours, march 


to the edifice and are met there by the Governor 
and staff officers, in dress uniforms ; the chief jus- 
tice, in wig and knee breeches; and the colonial 
dignitaries and their ladies. The band takes part 
in the service, and afterwards the troops are re- 
viewed by the Governor before marching back to 

In the vicinity of the Cathedral are the Wes- 
leyan Methodist, Presbyterian, African Methodist 
and Roman Catholic Churches, and in beautiful 
Pembroke Valley on the road to Government 
House, at Mount Langton, is St. John's, the par- 
ish church of Pembroke. The records of St. 
John's go back to 1621 ; the church was rebuilt 
in 1721, and again in 1821. The edifice and the 
peaceful churchyard are objects of venerable in- 

A tour of Hamilton is not complete unless one 
visits the Sessions House, where the House of 
Assembly and the Supreme Court have their 
chambers. This citadel of government was built 
in 1815; its commanding clock tower commemo- 
rates the jubilee of Queen Victoria's reign. The 
legislative chamber is a dignified room, with paint- 
ings of King George III and Queen Charlotte (at- 
tributed to Sir Thomas Lawrence) hung behind 
the Speaker's chair. As there are no political 
parties in Bermuda, government and opposition 


benches are unnecessary, and members face the 
chair, sitting at rows of desks on each side of 
the central aisle. The sessions of the House are 
often diverting to strangers, for this most ancient 
Assembly is jealous of its privileges and even 
minor issues are carefully threshed out in debate. 
Sir James Willcocks, Governor of Bermuda dur- 
ing the latter part of the Great War, wrote of 
the Bermudians that they were very orthodox in 
their attitude toward the governor as the King's 
representative, " and will grant him anything in 
reason so long as he will not tread on the corns 
of the * Honourable House of Assembly.' This, 
however, it is not always possible to avoid and 
when that happens there are wigs on the green." 

The procedure of the Supreme Court is marked 
by the same dignity which characterises courts of 
law in England. Cases are tried quickly and the 
presiding justice, whose powers are much more 
extensive than those of an American trial judge, 
is always in supreme control of the proceedings. 

Within the square bounded by Reid, Parlia- 
ment and Court Streets, facing on Front at the 
harbour's edge, stands the structure known as 
the Public Buildings, which houses the Council 
Chamber, certain departmental offices, and those 
of the Governor. In the grounds is the Cenotaph 
Bermuda's memorial to her sons who fell in the 


Great War. The cornerstone of the monument, 
which duplicates on a smaller scale the Cenotaph 
in London, was laid by the Prince of Wales on 
October 1, 1920. Here "The Silence" is pre- 
served on Armistice Day. 

In the Council Chamber, with its Throne and 
its paintings of King George V, Queen Mary, 
King George III and Queen Charlotte, are held 
the traditional ceremonies connected with the 
opening and prorogation of Parliament. The 
Governor, attended by a guard of honour and 
band, is received at the Public Buildings and there 
in the Council Chamber he is surrounded by the 
members of the Legislative Council and the As- 
sembly and the senior military and naval officers. 
The Governor, as the representative of the King, 
reads his speech (usually short and to the point) 
from the Throne, the proceedings being conducted 
with punctilious regard for ancient procedure. A 
review of the troops outside the building ends a 
highly picturesque ceremony. 

Passing up Queen Street one observes a gigan- 
tic rubber tree a much photographed object 
whose branches overhang the roadway. It 
stands at the entrance to Par-la-Ville, now 
the Public Library, and was brought from Esse- 
quibo, British Guiana, by William B. Perot, a 
former owner of this property. The tree has 


withstood the battering of many gales and is ap- 
proaching its centenary. The museum of the 
Bermuda Natural History Society is housed at 
Par-la-ville and the garden of this old building 
contains many rare trees and shrubs. From this 
garden one may enter the elaborate garden sur- 
rounding the Bermudiana Hotel. Another pub- 
lic institution which attracts those who have the 
collector's habit is the Bermuda Historical So- 
ciety, whose building at the eastern entrance to 
Hamilton contains many old relics and the original 
family portraits of Sir George Somers and Lady 
Somers. Facing Cedar Avenue, which is lined on 
either side by tall, sturdy cedars, is Victoria Park, 
a delightful and restful garden in which a variety 
of shrubs and shade trees flourish. The band 
stand, erected by the corporation, is another 
memorial of Queen Victoria's jubilee. The column 
erected to the members of the Bermuda Volunteer 
Rifle Corps who gave up their lives in the Great 
War, is a conspicuous feature of the park. 

Hamilton shows its prosperity in its villas 
comfortable houses surrounded by gardens to 
which the regal poinciana, with yellow and crim- 
son flowers; pigeon berry, bamboo, sago palm, 
screw pine, century plant, loquat, palmetto and 
a host of other plants lend an exotic atmosphere. 
Westward along the Pitt's Bay Road, which over- 

;^<ri ; 


S > 



'- ,i', f-*:,'? , "i , 
^ ;; ^lt : -^ ;: ^ :; ^''' 

I : i 1 

& ; ' ' ~> '":, '' ' P "'' WWHSA fcffi( & 








looks the harbour entrance, are many fine resi- 
dences. This road is intersected by the Serpen- 
tine, and extends to the road that carries one 
to the district called Fairyland, to Admiralty 
House and Spanish Point, the northwest extrem- 
ity of Pembroke. Fairyland has peculiar charms 
of its own, for the shore line is irregularly broken 
by inlets and coves and beyond, in the Great 
Sound, is a chain of tiny islands, one of them 
Agar's having once been the site of the Ber- 
muda Biological Station and Aquarium and, in 
the Great War, an American naval base. There 
is a good boat harbour in Mills Creek, which has 
been dredged in connection with the reclamation 
of Pembroke Marsh. And there is Mangrove 
Creek, which reveals the manner in which this 
hardy swamp tree will close up a sheltered inlet, 
if not disturbed. From each branch strong shoots 
descend into the water and root themselves in mud 
or sand, weaving a thicket that is dark and in- 

Clarence Hill, the site of Admiralty House, 
holds memories of many famous sailors, for since 
1816 it has been the Bermuda home of British 
admirals, among them Lord Fisher who gave the 
all-big-gun ship to the world and so revolutionized 
all navies. The grounds of Admiralty House have 
fine plantations and the hill commands a view of 


the Great Sound and the Dockyard. The Ad- 
miral has his private landing jetty in Clarence 
Cove on the north shore. 

More elaborate is Government House, which 
crowns Mount Langton on the northern outskirts 
of Hamilton and is admirably adapted for en- 
tertainment. The grounds embrace some seventy 
acres and are virtually a botanical garden, em- 
bellished from time to time by various governors, 
some of whom have taken deep pride in adding 
notable specimens to the plantation. The en- 
trance to Government House is a deep cutting in 
the hill ; when the bouganvillea, which covers one 
side of the gateway, is in bloom, the effect is en- 
trancing. The flowers, the lawns, the thickly 
wooded areas of the estate, all combine to make 
a vivid picture of luxuriant vegetation. Govern- 
ment House is a relatively new building, completed 
in 1892* to replace the old official residence on 
Mount Langton. To reach Government House 
from Hamilton one takes the road that passes 
St. John's Church, climbing the steep hill over- 
looking Pembroke Valley to the gateway. This 
road carries on to the north shore; but another 
road passing through a tunnel under Mount 
Langton gives an almost level approach to the 
north road, emerging near the Ducking Stool 
a place where witches were punished in the old 


dark days. In the valley lying below the southern 
slopes of Mount Langton is the recreation area 
reclaimed from Pembroke Marsh. Here is the 
tennis stadium and excellent clay courts; eventu- 
ally this area will become an extensive play- 

The harbour of Hamilton, while not large, has 
deep water and accommodates large ships, thanks 
to persistent dredging. The passage of ferries 
to Somerset, Ireland Island, Salt Kettle, and Rid- 
delPs Bay; the yachts and speed boats, and the 
movement of shipping give life and colour to the 
harbour. From the harbour mouth the main ship 
channel is carried through the narrow Two-Rock 
Passage, where it is almost possible to leap ashore 
from the liner's deck, curving around the Great 
Sound toward the dockyard, thence straightening 
down the north side to the outlet in the barrier 

The Great Sound is the scene of international 
yachting events, the best sailing course in Ber- 
muda; and many American skippers have there 
tried their luck. 

The islands of the Sound enhance the beauty 
of this aquatic playground. On Tucker's, Dar- 
relPs, Morgan's, Marshall's, Burtt's, Hawkin's, 
and Port's islands the larger of the Great 
Sound group about 5000 Boer prisoners of 


war were confined for nearly two years while the 
bitter struggle In the Transvaal went on. The 
Dutch-African burghers were guarded by soldiers 
and gunboats, but the internal government of each 
laager rested with the prisoners, who selected their 
own officers to enforce camp rules. The men oc- 
cupied their time in fishing, bathing, and making 
souvenirs, with which they flooded Bermuda. They 
were well fed and clothed, and there was little 
sickness in the camps. After the war the ma- 
jority took the oath of allegiance to Great Britain 
and were sent home to Africa. A few elected to 
remain in Bermuda, while the recalcitrants found 
their way to New York. 

An excellent view of Hamilton is obtained from 
Prospect Hill, which has long been a military 
camp, although its importance has diminished 
since Bermuda ceased to be an ocean fortress. 
From the hill one looks down upon the roofs of 
Hamilton, the picture extending across the har- 
bour to Paget and Warwick. Far in the distance, 
standing like a monolith, is the tower of Gibb's 
Hill Lighthouse, with the Great Sound islands 
resting in the water at the right. 


East of Pembroke lie the central parishes 
Devonshire, named in honour of the Earl of 
Devonshire, and Smith's, in honour of Sir Thomas 


Smith. The two parishes occupy that portion of 
the Main from Pembroke and Paget to Harring- 
ton Sound. The north shore road of Devonshire 
follows the water at the foot of a range of hills, 
passing the Devonshire golf course. This road is 
hedged in places by the feathery tamarisk, which 
is never affected by the salt spray dashed from 
the rocks below. The middle road taps a delight- 
fully rural district, a noticeable feature being 
Devonshire Marsh. Here are the waterworks, de- 
scribed in another chapter. Both north and mid- 
dle roads converge at Flatt's Village. Near the 
marsh is old Devonshire church, one of Bermuda's 
quaint buildings, and Christ Church, the newer 
parish edifice, completed in 1851. Parts of the 
older church date from 1719. It is a curious 
structure, exemplifying the methods of shipbuild- 
ers as applied to architecture. At one time its 
belfry was a gnarled and venerable cedar. 

Smith's Parish takes great pride in its parish 
church, St. Mark's, which was consecrated in 1848 
and supplanted a building that had crumbled to 
decay. The church is a striking building and 
contains many examples of native craftsmanship, 
the pulpit, especially, of cedar and mahogany, 
being a fine example of wood carving. Not far 
from St. Mark's is Spittal Pond and Spanish 
Rock. Although time has obliterated the initials 


(described in Chapter II) on Spanish Rock, the 
place remains a landmark surrounded by the 
mystery of the ancient sailor who carved his 
name in Bermuda history at a time when super- 
stitious shipmasters feared to approach the 
islands. The natural checker board, a singular 
rock formation, is in the vicinity of Spanish Rock, 
but the greatest attraction is the scenery* Look- 
ing east and west, it is wild and magnificent, if 
such a word may be applied to tiny Bermuda. The 
surf thunders across the reefs, churns a froth 
among the boilers, and rolls onward to the gray 
cliffs, hollowed, torn and distorted by constant 
warfare with the ocean, and strewn with boulders 
at the base. Such is the scene, modified or em- 
phasised, as one drives eastward toward the Mid- 
Ocean Colony at Tucker's Town, which is not a 
town, but was once a settlement of fishermen and 
farmers. The Mid-Ocean colonists possess many 
privileges. They have a renowned golf course at 
their disposal, a large club for social activities, 
and they live undisturbed in an exclusive realm of 
their own. A beautiful realm it is, for the cliffs 
and sand dunes of Tucker's Town, and the beach 
with its natural arch have a strong and never- 
failing appeal. Adjoining the Mid-Ocean Colony 
is the Paynter Vale district and here one comes 
to the Castle Harbour Hotel and its golf course. 


overlooking the beautiful harbour of that name. 


Flatt's Village, whose central location has 
made it desirable for residential purposes, is on 
the border line of Hamilton Parish, named in 
honour of the Marquis of Hamilton. Here are 
the Frascati Hotel, a nine-hole golf course, the 
Bermuda Aquarium, and many residences. At one 
period, the Flatts, as it is called, was a shipping 
centre, but silt from the ocean has made its little 
harbour shallow, and now only small boats can 
enter it. Off the mouth of the harbour is Gibbet 
Island, so named because the skull of a slave who 
had killed his master was exhibited there for years. 
The Aquarium attracts not only tourists, but a 
constant stream of Bermudians. Here one may 
see the octopus and sometimes watch it pumping 
water over its eggs ; the sea horse, unique because 
the male has a pouch in which the female deposits 
her eggs; the ferocious green moray and his 
speckled brother: the four-eyed or butterfly fish; 
the angel fish, a fierce fighter ; the flounder, which 
has both eyes on one side ; the barracuda, properly 
called " the tiger of the sea ** ; the canny fishing 
fish, which carries it own rod and bait. Most of 
these fishes are brilliantly coloured and some have 
the power to change colour at will in order to pro- 


tect themselves against their enemies. The tanks 
are filled not only with fishes, but with delicate 
anemones, corals, sponges, algae and ascidians, all 
taken from the Bermuda reefs. In an enclosure 
outside the Aquarium are a number of Galapagos 
land turtles, whose habits of life are being studied. 
At the Aquarium one can be initiated into the 
mysteries of the diving helmet and walk around 
the bottom of Harrington Sound. 

Two roads lead eastward from the Flatts, one 
crossing the bridge over a turbulent channel that 
feeds Harrington Sound, the other winding about 
the sound to Paynter's Vale and Walsingham, 
both meeting near the Admiral's Cave and con- 
tinuing toward the Causeway. The road that 
crosses the bridge passes Shelly Bay and Bailey's 
Bay and is the shorter route to St. George's, but 
the sound road is more beautiful. 

Harrington Sound, a circular body of water 
with Trunk Island in the centre, is enclosed by 
bold cliffs wooded almost to the edge. Old in- 
habitants used to say that the sound waters 
neither ebbed nor flowed, and they were nearly 
correct, for the tidal change is insignificant. The 
sound road passes Lion Rock, a faithful effigy of 
that beast, and then one comes to the Devil's Hole, 
or Neptune's Grotto, a private aquarium fed with 
water flowing through underground channels in 


the sound. The story is told of a British officer 
who visited the Devil's Hole and refused to believe 
that the many groupers in the pool were savage, 
for they seemed friendly and harmless as they 
stuck their snouts above water. So he jokingly 
threw his dog in and the unlucky animal was 
promptly torn to pieces. Keeping onward, one 
passes Shark's Hole, a seaside cavern hollowed in 
the rocks, -the turn at the right leading to the 
Mid-Ocean Colony; the left turn carrying one 
along the eastern shore of the sound to Walsing- 
ham, the cave district. 

There is no part of Bermuda where the vegeta- 
tion is wilder or more luxuriant than at Walsing- 
ham, named after its first explorer, the cockswain 
of the Sea Venture. It is almost as riotous a 
tangle as it was in bygone days, when Tom Moore 
sallied forth from Walsingham House beside a 
rocky pool and rambled through the jungle to 
his hospitable calabash tree, now struggling 
against age in a cool, green glen. Here cedar 
brush is shrouded in jasmine which in early sum- 
mer is white with blossoms and heavy with per- 
fume; there are coffee trees, lemons and wild 
olives; stalactitic walls of fallen caverns and 
mouths of subterranean chambers are masked by 
creepers, ferns, and moss, while the fiddlewood, 
which assumes as its regular dress soft autumn 


tints, lends touches of brown and red to the green 

On the way from Walsingham House is Holy 
Trinity, the parish church of Hamilton, and one 
of the oldest in the colony. It is beautifully situ- 
ated on the north shore of the sound, just above 
Church Bay. The original church, with a thatched 
roof of palmetto leaves, was built in 1622 and, 
according to the records, parts of that structure 
are embodied in the present building. North of 
the church is the residential district known as 
Bailey's Bay, the road being lined with character- 
istic dwellings and gardens. 

* The rocks of Walsingham are among the oldest 
in the Bermuda structure, and it is believed that 
most of this area is undermined. The caves were 
formed by rain water which percolated through 
channels in the hard limestone and washed out the 
loose sand and earth underlying it, thus produc- 
ing recesses in which stalactite and stalagmite 
were slowly formed by the constant dripping of 
water, each drop carrying a minute deposit of 
carbonate of lime acquired from the calcareous 
soil in the filtering process. Some of the caverns 
grew too large to support their roofs, and so we 
find throughout Walsingham " sinks " or depres- 
sions caused by the collapse of the structure over- 
head. In such rocky glens there are broken 


boulders and irregular curtains of honey-combed 
limestone damp, shadowy glens that delight the 
eye and fire the imagination. 

The Leamington, Crystal and Wonderland 
caves are notable for their exquisite stalactites 
and vivid colouring. The use of special electric 
lighting effects, particularly in Crystal Cave, en- 
hances the beauty of this strange world under- 
ground, a scintillating creation of lime and water, 
the drip, drip, drip signifying the slow but steady 
growth of pendants clinging from the tinted 

In Crystal Cave there are thousands of stalac- 
tites not larger than a knitting needle ; there are 
conical masses, clear as crystal, a foot in diameter 
at the base ; there are translucent draperies, mush- 
room effects, banks of calcite, snow-white, and 
polished like diamonds. Here are donkey 5 s ears, 
there an alligator and a turtle fashioned by 
nature through the ages. Each living stalactite 
holds a glistening drop at its extremity and 
vibrates tunefully, but those that have lost their 
nourishment water and are dead, no longer 
contain a suggestion of melody. 

A feature of this cave Is Cahow Lake, which 
takes its name from the fact that in one of the 
chambers were found, deeply embedded in calcite, 
fossilized bones and feathers of the cahow, which 


was supposed to have become extinct about 1630. 
This " silly " bird, as one early writer called it, 
was exceedingly plentiful when the settlers ar- 
rived and could he caught in hundreds after dark 
by hand, for it lived in holes among the rocks. 
In the first few years of settlement the nightmare 
of famine was ever present, and the cahow, being 
the principal victim of man's rapacity, soon 
dwindled in numbers and finally disappeared. 
Long had modern scientists searched for traces 
of the bird, but not until Crystal Cave was dis- 
covered were their efforts rewarded. One scientist, 
however, was not satisfied and always hoped that 
one day a specimen of the cahow might be found 
alive. He was Louis L. Mowbray, director of the 
Bermuda Aquarium. For years Mr. Mowbray 
searched Bermuda diligently and at last, on Feb- 
ruary 22, 1906, he found his prize in a rock 
crevice on Castle Island. The cahow was f ormally 
identified by comparison with the fossil bones. 

A short distance from Crystal Cave, on the road 
to St. George's, are the Admiral's Cave and the 
Joyce's Dock or Shakespeare Grottoes. The dis- 
trict has many of the characteristics of the 
Walsingham tract. The Admiral's Cave is a long 
one, the first chamber being decorated with hun- 
dreds of stalactites which assume forms of the 
vegetable world. Farther down into the earth is 


the organ chamber where stand a series of col- 
umns the organ pipes resulting from the 
union of stalactite and stalagmite. These when 
struck by metal send forth musical notes that 
echo against the dripping roof. Another chamber 
contains a late of clear water. From this cave, 
in 1819, Admiral Sir David Milne cut a st^amiite^ 
weighing three and a half tons and sent it to the 
museum of the University of Edinburgh. His son, 
Admiral Sir Alexander Milne, visited the chamber 
in 1863 and observed the new matter which had 
been formed by five drops of water on the stump 
in the intervening forty-four years. From his 
measurements the admiral estimated that the sta- 
lagmite had occupied six hundred thousand Years 
in formation, if during the period it was forming 
the drops were not more numerous and did not 
fall more rapidly than in 1863. This deduction, 
while interesting, is debatable. 

The Joyce's Dock Caves are among the oldest 
known caverns in Bermuda, and they have very 
beautiful chambers. In one grotto a circular lake 
is covered by a dome of stalactites arranged in 
fantastic clusters. Groups of columns at the 
edges give a striking effect. In the centre of the 
lake rises an island of stalagmite ; without unduly 
stretching the imagination one may see among the 
draperies, faces and figures of famous personages. 

including even a striking bust of Shakespeare. 


Leaving underground mysteries behind, one 
passes the Blue Hole and drives over the Cause- 
way to Longbird Island, thence over the Swing 
Bridge to St. George's. On the left hand is the 
Reach extending from the railway bridge at the 
Old Ferry to the Swing Bridge; on the right is 
Castle Harbour, with its lonely islands, some cov- 
ered by the ruins of ancient fortifications. The 
Causeway was completed in 1871 at a cost of 
JE32,QQO and, being demolished by the hurricane 
of 1899, was repaired and strengthened the fol- 
lowing year. From the Causeway one sees the 
Biological Station at Shore Hills, on the Reach; 
and the bridge from Stokes Point to St. David's 
Island, the last of the larger islands to be included 
in the network of roads. From the Swing Bridge 
the road twists about Mullet Bay, climbs gentle 
grades, and enters the old town, the cradle of 
Bermuda history, commemorating in its name the 
exploits of that doughty Elizabethan, Sir George 

When the site of St, George's was cleared of 
cedars, men planted their houses irregularly over 
the open spaces, heedless of the inevitable advent 
of vehicles, and so the town is a maze of narrow 


streets and crooked alleys, bordered by high- 
walled gardens an unconventional place, digni- 
fied by age and tradition, and by the hospitality 
of its people. Feather Bed Alley, Printer's, Shin- 
bone, Silk, and Old Maid's Alley are some of the 
odd names given to the byways. 

St. George's is one hundred and forty-eight 
years older than Hamilton but was not incorpo- 
rated until 1797, four years after the capital. 
The form of local government is similar to that of 
Hamilton. The population of the parish numbers 
3,287, according to the census of 1931. In the 
course of its history the old town has experienced 
many vicissitudes ; often its fortunes have been at 
low ebb. Its prestige suffered when the seat of 
government was removed to Hamilton in 1815 ; its 
profitable ship repair business dwindled with the 
decline of sailing vessels; similarly the port's 
bunkering trade was affected when the oil-burning 
steamer and the motor ship began to replace the 
coal-burning tramp. St. George's recalls its stir- 
ring boom during the American civil war period, 
when blockade runners filled the harbour ; and its 
people remember the days when forts and bar- 
racks were filled with troops and Tommy Atkins 
was a source of revenue, even though his wage was 
only a shilling a day. But St. George's no longer 
lives in the past; it looks forward confidently to 


the future. The railway has brought the town in 
closer touch with the rest of Bermuda ; and it is 
obvious that St. George's is destined again to be- 
come an important port a terminus for the 
larger type of cruising ships, which are obliged to 
lie in open roadsteads and send their passengers 
ashore by tender. All that is necessary for the 
development of the harbour is the deepening and 
widening of the Town Cut Channel to accommo- 
date such vessels. If this project is accomplished, 
time and inconvenience will be saved for cruise 
ship passengers, Bermuda will have a night port 
only fifteen minutes from the open sea, and St. 
George's will realise on its most important assets 
its harbour and its wharves. 

On Rose Hill, overlooking the harbour, is the 
St. George Hotel, behind which is a nine-hole golf 
course extending to the north shore of the island. 
West of Rose Hill is Fort George, with its old 
moat and barracks. No longer a military post, 
Fort George is the site of the Signal Station and 
also of the Meteorological Station. In the centre 
of the town is St. Peter's, mother of all parish 
churches, and its graveyard. In 1612 Governor 
Moore, built a cedar church, but it was soon de- 
stroyed fay a hurricane. In 1620 Governor Butler 
built a more substantial church on the site of St. 
Peter's and it is probable that some of his masonry 


is contained in the existing walls, raised in 1713, 
and covered with a thatched roof of palmetto 
leaves, which made way about fifty years later for 
one of stone. Time had worked havoc with St. 
Peter's until 1908, when through public subscrip- 
tions it was possible to renovate the structure 
thoroughly, and now the old church bids fair to 
double its age. Within the shadow of the clock 
tower, erected in 1814, is the grave of Midshipman 
Dale, closely crowded by family tombs, weather- 
stained and hoary with age. It bears this in- 





He departed this life at St. George's, Ber- 
muda on the 22nd day of February, A. D. 
1815, aged 20 years, one month and 17 days. 
He lost his right leg in an engagement between 
the U. S. Frigate President and a squadron of 
His Brittanie Majesty's ships of war on 15th 
January, A. D. 1815. 

His confinement caused a severe complaint 
in his back which in a short time terminated 
his life. 

This stone records the tribute of his par- 
ents' gratitude to those inhabitants of St. 
George's whose generous and tender sympathy 
prompted the kindest attentions to their son 
while living, and honoured him when dead. 


The interior arrangements of the church belong 
to the past. At the centre of the north wall is a 
triple-decked pulpit, while the altar stands at the 
east wall, mating it necessary for the congrega- 
tion to face about when the creed is repeated. 
The lower deck of the pulpit was originally used 
by the parish clerk, who read the responses as 
leader of the congregation; the second tier is the 
rector's reading desk; from the third deck the 
sermon is preached. The cedar altar was in use 
as early as 1624. Between pulpit and altar are 
large box pews with seats on two sides, the 
preacher looking at the backs of some of his 
auditors. One of these pews is reserved for the 
Governor, who has the legal right to a sitting in 
each parish church. St. Peter's silver vessels are 
a source of deep interest to visitors. The oldest 
is a chalice with cover, a gift of the Bermuda 
Company in 1625; the large chalice, flagons and 
paten, the gift of King William III, date from 
1697-8; the christening basin was the gift of 
William Browne of Salem, Mass,, who came to 
Bermuda as Governor in 1782. Mural tablets 
cover the walls of St. Peter's, telling the story of 
yellow fever epidemics and extolling the virtues of 
long-forgotten men and women. There are exam- 
ples of the sculpture of Bacon and Westmacott, 
but the memorial which attracts most attention is 


that erected to Governor Alured Popple, " who," 
says Lefroy, "is gratefully remembered by the 
ladies of Bermuda for imposing a tax on bache- 
lors. 5 * It is worded as follows: 

Died at Bermuda November 17 1744? 

in the 46th year of his age, 
After nine days illness of a bilious fever, 

The Good Governor, 


During the Course of his Administration, 

which to the inconsolable grief of the Inhabitants 

Continued but six years, 
Of the many Strangers who resorted Thither for 

their health 
The Observing easily discovered in him, 

Under the graceful Veil of Modesty, 
An Understanding and Abilities equal 

To a more important Trust; 
The Gay and Polite were charmed with the 

Elegance and amiable Simplicity of his Manners 

And all were ehear'd 

By His Hospitality and diffusive Benevolence 
Which Steadily flowed and Undisturbed, 

From the Heart, 
To Praise, according to his Merit, 

The Deceased 
would be but too sensible a Reproach 

To the Living; 

And to enumerate the many rare Virtues 
which shone united in the Governor 

of that little Spot 

were to tell how many great Talents 
and excellent Endowments are 

Wanting in Some 
Whom the capriciousness of Fortune 

In a more elevated and Conspicuous station. 


Governor Popple was far from popular with 
Bermudians, and apparently he incurred the dis- 
pleasure of some who occupied " a more elevated 
and conspicuous station " in England, where the 
inscription was written by friends. To Eermudians 
it is irreverently known as Governor Popple's 
" certificate of character." His tax on bachelors, 
it may be said, amounted to one shilling a head. 

On Water Street is the Post Office and Custom 
House, formerly the colonial jail in which Ameri- 
can prisoners of war were confined. Between the 
exterior and interior walls are blocks of hard 
limestone, which probably thwarted many a con- 
vict. A notable prisoner was John Stephenson, 
confined for six months in 1801 for "preaching 
the gospel of Jesus Christ to African blacks and 
captive negroes," a law having been enacted espe- 
cially to fit his so-called crime. But it was in- 
effective, for the dauntless Stephenson preached 
through his cell window, drawing sympathy and 
followers from the crowd. This was practically 
the last instance of religious persecution in the 

A few doors above the Post Office is the house 
in which the Duke of Clarence, afterward King 
William IV, lived as an officer of the Royal Navy, 
and a short distance below, on Market or King's 
Square, is the Town Hall and a war memorial. 


The former home of the Courts of Justice and 
Council, on rising ground at the east of the square, 
is held in trust by the Corporation for Lodge St. 
George, No. 200, which is supposed to pay an 
annual rental of one peppercorn, according to the 
deed of gift made by Governor Sir James Cock- 
burn in 1816. The deed also provided that par- 
liamentary elections should be held in the building. 
Lodge 200 was chartered in 1797 under the Grand 
Registry of Scotland and is one of the oldest 
bodies of Freemasons in Bermuda. This building, 
unique in its construction, is supposed to have 
been erected about 1623. 

Just north of the lodge in York street, is the 
Somers Garden, the garden of the governors when 
St. George's was the capital, and the burial place 
of Sir George Somer's heart, as the memorial tab- 
let (mentioned elsewhere) indicates. It is a bright 
spot, with flowering shrubs and rare trees, in- 
cluding a- " monkey's puzzle," date palms nearly 
two hundred years old, and effective specimens of 
the screw pine. At the garden gate stands a 
native limestone monument erected by the colony 
to commemorate Somers and the tercentenary of 
Bermuda's settlement. On Government Hill, which 
rises back of the garden are the ruins of what was 
intended to be the " new parish church " a build- 
ing effort hampered by lack of funds. Here stood 


the powder magazine which Captain Ord depleted 
in 1775, (see Chapter V) also the residence of the 
Governor. Eighty years after the powder episode 
a curious discovery was made in the course of 
excavation on Government Hill. The skeleton of 
a man was exhumed, the skull showing a fracture. 
He had evidently been killed and buried in haste, 
as his grave was only two feet deep. Buttons, 
gold lace, spurs, and a whalebone riding whip in- 
dicated that he had been a French staff officer, 
probably a prisoner of war on parole when the 
magazine was entered. This man was supposed 
to have escaped with Ord's men, but it is apparent 
that they killed him in the belief that he was spy- 
ing on their movements. Thus the shallow grave 
vindicated his honour. 

On the street leading to Government Hill is the 
home of the St. George's Historical Society, whose 
setting is a walled garden. At one end of the 
building is the barred window of John Stephen- 
son's cell, a relic retrieved from the Custom House. 
The Society's possessions include many objects 
and pictures of historical value, and one may see 
in the house a characteristic " slave kitchen " con- 
taining a high hearth, brick oven, and cooking 
utensils of more primitive days. A circulating 
library and an information bureau for visitors are 


From the heights above the town the outlook 
is extensive. The Meteorological Station at Fort 
George sweeps the entire north shore, the near 
and distant islands of Castle Harbour on the 
south, the ocean at the east a comprehensive 
picture by daylight and a singularly attractive 
scene when moonrays cut a path across the phos- 
phorescent waters of the town harbour and tinge 
the foliage of St. David's with silver gray. On 
clear days North Rock a vestige of ancient 
Bermuda and its beacon, are visible. Under 
the brow of Rose Hill, facing York Street, is the 
Methodist Chapel, while on the eastern slope are 
the crumbling ruins of Nea's home, reminiscent of 
Tom Moore. From Barrack Hill, rising above 
the cliffs of Convict Bay at the eastern end of the 
town, you may look down into the crooked alleys 
and private gardens, and realise the extent and 
beauties of the harbour. This hill and the plateau 
extending north and east comprise a military 
reservation for which a proud empire now has 
little use. The one active spot in this locality is 
the wireless station. 

On the Cut Road, which runs below Barrack 
Hill, are several large houses and gardens, the 
ocean coming into view at the extremity of Ber- 
muda, hard by the Town Cut Channel, which runs 
between St. George's and Higgs Islands. The sur- 


rounding fortifications, obsolete and without gar- 
risons, were once considered the last word in mili- 
tary engineering. On this shore Somers and his 
company landed; here, too, is Building's Bay, 
where their shipbuilders laboured, and Lunn's 
Well, which they dug centuries ago. And the 
bachelor who drinks a thimble full of its water 
will surely be married before leaving Bermuda 
so runs the legend. A drive from this point past 
the parade ground, military church, Fort Vic- 
toria, and the barracks back of Goverment Hill 
brings one to the Naval Tanks large water 
catches the traditional landing place of Cap- 
tain Ord's crew. Coot Pond and the limestone 
pinnacles called Tobacco Rocks are in the vicinity, 
and looking eastward is Fort Catherine, crowning 
St. Catherine's Point, around which vessels turn 
to proceed up the north shore to the dockyard 
and Hamilton. Bathers use Catherine's beach 
and wander about the silent fort. Another drive 
is by the Ferry Road leading west from the town 
about Mullet Bay and going through the neck of 
land that stretches to the Old Ferry. 

Opposite St. George's is St, David's Island, 
running the length of the harbour, with Smith's 
lying parallel at the eastern end. Between Smith's 
and Paget Island, on which stands Fort Cunning- 
ham, is the old harbour channel. The first settlers 


landed on Smith's Island, and the remains of their 
ovens are visible there. St. David's, reached by 
steam ferry from St. George's, had until recently 
no highway connection with the town, and by 
reason of their isolation the inhabitants of this 
beautiful island have closely retained old 'Mudian 
traditions of living. They farm, fish, pilot vessels, 
go to sea when they hear the call, and chase the 
whale if they have an opportunity, according to 
the ways of their ancestors. You will find their 
prototypes in Nantucket and along the south 
shore of Long Island. Many stories are told of 
the simplicity of the David's Islanders of days 
long past. One concerns a bearded patriarch who 
said he would have " no graven images " in the 
house when his son of forty brought home the 
first photograph of himself. There is another 
which depicts the consternation of an old fisher- 
man when he caught sight of the first steamer to 
visit Bermuda. He was anchored off shore in a 
dinghy, with a boy as his only companion. When 
he saw the mysterious fire-ship bearing down upon 
him, a cloud of smoke trailing in the sky, he cried 
in terror : " Sonny, sonny, cut the kfllick, perdi- 
tion cometh." A killick by the way, is a stone 
anchor protected by cedar or oleander boughs. It 
was devised by the early settlers and is still used. 
The ferryboat's course lies through a narrow 


passage between Smith's and St. David's into 
limpid water, the shore on either side being in- 
dented by tiny coves. On the sand of one cove 
called Dolly's Bay is the small remnant of a civil 
war torpedo raft, one of three built in New York 
to be used in assaults upon Charleston. In 1862 
the rafts left New York in tow of the steamer 
Ericsson but in a gale off Cape Hatteras one of 
the trio broke away and could not be recovered. 
For six years it drifted, a dangerous ocean waif, 
then the currents directed its course to Bermuda. 
In 1872, four years later, a sea captain represent- 
ing Boston underwriters, came to the islands. He 
was told about the strange derelict and went to 
Dolly's Bay to see it. " Well, well, did I ever 
expect to be shipmates with it again?" he ex- 
claimed, as he boarded the raft and without hesi- 
tation picked out the government number. He 
was none other than Captain E. H. Faucon, once 
an auxiliary officer of the United States navy, and 
commander of the Ericsson, also, in earlier days 
master of the brig Pilgrim, in which Richard H. 
Dana sailed and collected the material for " Two 
Years Before the Mast." 

Captain Faucon recalled the wild night off Hat- 
teras, the loss of the raft, and the drowning of a 
boy who with other seamen had tried to save the 
tow. The raft was built of heavy pine timbers, 


at one end of which projected two arms, each in- 
tended to hold a torpedo. The other end or 
tail was constructed to fit the bows of a monitor, 
which was supposed to push the raft against the 
submarine barricades of Charleston Harbour, ex- 
ploding the torpedoes by contact with the ob- 
struction. No longer does the relic resemble 
the derelict of 1868. It is merely a skeleton of 
rusty spikes and spongy timbers ; soon it will be 
only a memory. 

From the last ferry landing it is a short climb 
to St. David's Lighthouse on Mount Hill. The 
lighthouse is an octagonal limestone tower, 55 feet 
from base to lantern and 208 feet above sea level. 
A petroleum vapour burner gives a fixed white 
light of about 30,000 candle power, enabling navi- 
gators to take cross bearings with the Gibb's 
Hill flash. The eastern gallery overlooks St. 
David's Fort, and the rugged cliffs of Great 
Head, beyond which are the buoys marking the 
channel through the barrier reef. Turning north, 
the bays between St. David's and Smith's, the 
harbour and town, come into view, while south 
and west are breakers and the islands of Castle 
Harbour in bold relief. All of the north shore 
affords views of St. George's; on the south shore 
are several bathing beaches. 

Castle Harbour, the chief anchorage of early 


Bermuda, lies between the west end of St. David's 
and the shore of Walsingharn and Tucker's Town, 
and is entered from the head of the town harbour 
beneath the bridge which joins St. David's to St. 
George's. For two centuries the coral builders 
have worked here so rapidly that the harbour is 
filled with shoals, and it is now a succession of sea- 
gardens prolific in specimens for the collector. 
There is a boat channel across the harbour to 
Paynter Yale and Tucker's Town, and it is sim- 
ple matter to avoid the shoals beyond the chan- 
nel and reach the desolate islands which make this 
body of water so attractive. Practically the 
whole of Castle Island is covered with grey ruins. 
It is a bleak, barren spot supporting only sage 
bush, prickly pears, and scrub cedar, an abode 
of lizards, and land crabs. Even so, its inhos- 
pitable shore is inviting. You land on the south 
side, clamber up needle-like rocks to the ruins, 
and find yourself carried back to 1612, when Gov- 
ernor Moore built his cedar gun-platforms to pro- 
tect Castle Harbour and the struggling settle- 
ment against attacks of the much-feared Span- 
iards. The scheme of defence is readily traced. 
King's Castle is built at the eastern escarpment, 
and here in addition to gun embrasures is 
a chamber hollowed in the rock, with circular 
compartments for round shot. A stone parapet 


or rampart runs along the ocean side, with more 
casemates for guns at the west end. An old 
kitchen and brick oven are near by, and on ris- 
ing ground about the centre of the island is the 
citadel or Devonshire Redoubt, named by Gover- 
nor Butler, who in 1620 repaired and extended 
Moore's works. Close by the abrupt cliffs on 
the north side are the so-called " dungeons," in 
reality the barracks. It is difficult to tell the 
exact age of the ruins, for the fortifications were 
frequently repaired, probably for the last time 
in the War of 1812. 

Only once, in 1613, was the garrison of King's 
Castle called upon to exhibit its prowess. In that 
year two Spanish ships appeared off the harbour 
with the intention, it was believed, of recovering 
buried treasure, and, says John Smith : " Master 
More made but two shot, which caused them to 
depart. Marke here the handiwork of the diune 
providence for they had but three quarters of a 
barrell of powder, and but one shot more, and 
the powder by carelessness e was tumbled down 
vnder the mussels of the two peeces, were dis- 
charged, yet not touched with fire when they were 
discharged. " 

On the eastern side of the channel, opposite 
King's Castle, is Brangman's or Southampton 
Island, on which there is another ruined redoubt, 


and a third crumbling- fortification stands on 
Charles or Goat Island. Castle Island, however, 
is more accessible than its neighbours, and its 
ruins are more extensive and have a greater his- 
toric interest. East of Brangman's Island is Non- 
such, the quarantine detention station, (used by 
Dr. William Beebe as a base for his deep-sea ex- 
plorations) and then Cooper's Island, the home 
of regiments of land crabs, which scurry into 
their burrows, like prairie dogs, at the slightest 
noise. The beaches are composed of sand almost 
as fine as sifted flour, and on them are thrown 
quantities of the little pink and green shells that 
native jewellers utilise in trinkets. There is a 
natural bridge and the island is invested with a 
romance of hidden treasure. "The marks and 
signe of it," according to the deposition of Joseph 
Ming, " were three yallow wood trees, that stood 
tryangular upon one of wch was a plate of brass 
nailed, and on the other were severall names or 
lettrs cutt theron." That redoubtable "king," 
Christopher Carter, grandfather of Joseph Ming, 
found a quantity of ambergris on Cooper's, and 
with this he purchased the island, being convinced 
that he would find the treasure, although the pro- 
prietors offered him St. David's, which was a 
greater bargain. Of course, Carter never found 
the treasure and his investment proved to be a 


costly one, for, under the terms of the purchase, 
he was obliged to maintain at his own expense a 
garrison of seven men at Pembroke's Fort, the 
island redoubt. It will be remembered that a 
yellow wood tree also figured in the Ireland Island 
treasure tale. The Cooper's Island trees disap- 
peared long ago; the treasure is still to be re- 

Cooper's Island completes the list of points of 
interest the principal points. A month is a 
brief space in which to see them; indeed, you 
might profitably spend sis months or a year in 
your rambles, for, though circumscribed, Ber- 
muda is kaleidoscopic. She is not wholly known 
to her people. If they who live there year after 
year can find new pictures, new viewpoints, what 
must there be in store for the casual visitor? 



IF ONE were to take an air voyage over Bermuda 
a journey of twenty minutes perhaps one 
would see a series of golf courses, green and allur- 
ing; miles of broad beaches, some deserted, others 
never overcrowded with bathers; scores of tennis 
courts; fleets of sailing yachts and speed boats; 
innumerable bicycles winding along roads that lie 
like white ribbons over the land; perhaps a 
mounted group putting their horses at the jumps 
in a cross-country run. All this is evidence that 
Bermuda bids the sportsman welcome; evidence, 
too, of the universal desire for exercise in the 
open air. In older days Bermuda was regarded 
not as a playground but merely as a health resort. 
Visitors were content to take leisurely drives, to 
picnic on the beaches, to rusticate in flower gar- 
dens where tea was served in truly British manner, 
and to lead an idyllic life far from the main high- 
ways of mankind. It is still possible to lead the 
simple life in Bermuda, but modern tourists want 
little of it. They arrive, armed with golf clubs, 
tennis rackets, sometimes with sailboats and speed 
boats ; they have come to play, and play they do. 


When the visitor at least the young visitor 
lands, he performs a recognized ritual. He rents 
a bicycle the household god of Bermuda. He 
soon discovers that he has not forgotten to push 
a bike and that years of riding in motor cars 
have softened his leg muscles. Before the sore- 
ness has worn off he has acquired the native habit, 
enforced by law, of riding on the left, instead of 
the right, side of the road and perhaps has been 
warned by a constable that lamp-lighting time 
for bicycles and carriages is more than a legal 
formality. And he finds that the bicycle, con- 
sidered useful in the north only for small boys 
and girls, is a very desirable steed in Bermuda. 
It enables him to keep his dates promptly, it 
takes him wandering over the islands ; makes him, 
in fact, an explorer in his own right. By the time 
his holiday ends, he has high respect for his 
wheel and a better pair of legs. Moreover, he 
understands why the Bermudian and his wife ride 
nonchalantly to parties in evening dress, and 
why there are in daily use some 13,000 wheels, all 
numbered and licensed. 

If one asked a Bermudian to name the true 
native sport, his answer would be yachting. He 
would explain that, although sailing conditions 
in Bermuda can hardly be surpassed anywhere, 
the islander's love of boats springs from his sea- 


faring traditions. His ancestors were seamen 
trained in the exacting school of sail, and his 
ability to handle a boat is a natural inheritance. 
Before the days of steam, comprehensive charts, 
and buoyed channels the Bermuda pilots gained 
the admiration of every shipmaster with whom 
they came in contact. They knew the ways of 
ships and never lost their heads under baffling con- 
ditions. Taking a position in the top or on the 
forecastle, the pilot directed the vessel's course 
through the reefs, simply by noting the changing 
shades of the water, and in masterly style would 
pick out a devious passage, even in half a gale. 

In similar manner the coloured yacht pilot, 
standing by the mast, cons the brown shoal- 
patches, keeps an eye on the weather, and directs 
the helmsman. He knows what to avoid and how 
to stand clear of danger spots. At night, when 
the novice sees only a blur of darkness, the pilot 
has an uncanny way of choosing the safe course. 
Experience has taught him to remember his land- 
marks. A hole in the water-worn rock, a clump 
of cedars, somebody's window lamp, a lone pal- 
metto these and other marks he picks up one 
by one; never for a moment is he confused or at 
loss for a bearing. Never sail without a pilot 
is sound advice for those unaccustomed to Ber- 
muda waters. He knows his boat, what the wind 


is likely to do in a certain quarter, where and how 
far to go. One may trust his judgment and his 
eyesight, and one can learn a lot from him. The 
professional pilot, however, does not enter the 
racing picture ; the sport is for amateurs alone. 

The pattern of Bermuda yachting has changed 
with the years. Gone are the days when boats 
were of odd sizes, when handicaps puzzled race 
committees, when racing craft were heavy and 
clumsy and little more than glorified freight car- 
riers modeled somewhat like the trading sloops of 
eighteenth- century Bermuda. Gone, too, is the 
picturesque native dinghy, that tiny, undecked 
boat which, under a smother of canvas, was kept 
afloat in a stiff breeze only by constant bailing, 
and which taught her crew tricks of seamanship 
never to be forgotten. One thing, however, re- 
mains the Bermuda rig, which has spread over 
the world as a genuine contribution to the science 
and sport of yachting. 

Bermudians were rather slow to discard old 
models for new; and for a time the sport lagged, 
awaiting perhaps the development of another gen- 
eration of skippers more in harmony with modern 
trends in yachting. A few boats were imported, 
others were constructed in the islands, and it is 
worthy of note that during this period the famous 
American designer, Nathanael G. Herreshoff, f re- 


quently visited Bermuda with his own pleasure 
craft, becoming keenly interested in the work of 
native builders. His influence made itself felt, 
but it was not until the one-design class was 
adopted that Bermuda yachting found a new 
lease of life. In 1925, W. Starling Burgess of 
New York was commissioned to draw plans of 
such a class for members of the Royal Bermuda 
Yacht Club. Seven of these boats were built in 
Germany and delivered the next year, and since 
that time yachting in Bermuda has attained a 
strong position. In 1927 Long Island Sound 
yachtsmen were invited to send a team of four 
interclub class boats to race against a team of 
four Bermuda one-designs. This event was fol- 
lowed by similar invasions in subsequent years and 
led to visits of Bermuda boats to Long Island 

In 1928, three Bermuda yachtsmen, feeling that 
it would be advisable to stimulate the sport still 
further, ordered three one-design six-metre boats, 
which were designed and built by Bjarne Aas of 
Norway. The six-metres more than fulfilled ex- 
pectations and gave to Bermuda a definite place 
in the field of international yachting. Soon after 
their arrival in 1929, they sailed a series of races 
against three American six-metre boats, and a few 
months later two of the Bermuda sixes returned 


the compliment by visiting Long Island Sound, 
where they were highly successful in team and in- 
dividual racing. 

The annual racing fortnight of the Royal Ber- 
muda Yacht Club, usually held in April on the 
course of the Great and Little Sounds, brings to 
the islands some of the most resourceful Ameri- 
can skippers who match wits, one-designs, and six- 
metres against rivals for whom they have high 
regard. Sometimes the visitors win, sometimes 
they lose; whatever the result, the regatta ends 
with the genuine, sportsmanlike feeling that the 
qualities of the boats and the skill of their mas- 
ters have been fairly tested, A coveted trophy 
for which the six-metres contend every year is the 
cup given by the Prince of Wales to the Royal 
Bermuda Yacht Club for the encouragement of 
international racing. 

Bermuda has taken a leaf from the book of 
American yachtsmen in seeking to encourage 
youngsters to follow the sport. For some years 
past the Long Island yachting fellowship has been 
training boys and girls in the fine art of handling 
small boats; now Bermuda boys, thanks to the 
Yacht Club, have similar opportunities. In 1931 
the club ordered a fleet of twelve-foot sailing ding- 
les eighteen in number from England and 
the youngsters who sail them will no doubt be 


found at the tillers of larger boats in future years. 

The old type of Bermuda open dinghy, already 
mentioned in this chapter, evokes stirring memo- 
ries. As a boat the dinghy was unique. She was 
built of native cedar and was only 14 feet 1 inch 
over all the limit of length under the rules 
but her sailspread, limited only by the judgment 
of her owner, was astonishing. Three suits were 
provided the largest one for light weather, 
another for moderate breezes, the third for strong 
winds. Each leg-o'-mutton mainsail was bent to 
its own mast. Some idea of the amount of sail 
carried in light weather is apparent from the size 
of the spars. The bowsprit was longer than the 
boat, the mast twice as long, and there was nearly 
as much canvas on the boom as on the mast. The 
spinnaker had nearly as much cloth as jib and 
mainsail combined. 

The boat had a lead-filled false keel, with a deep 
sheet-iron jaw or "fan" attached, but despite 
this weight below water the dinghy was so " ten- 
der" that she would capsize when her mast was 
stepped unless men and ballast were aboard. The 
element of instability gave the crew opportunities 
to show their seamanship, particularly when the 
wind came in sudden squalls. 

The crew was composed of four men, sometimes 
sis, and a boy. The youngster was the bailer. 


He sat in the bottom, bailed continually, and kept 
the boat free from water. He worked hard, but 
if the breeze softened and less weight was needed 
he jumped overboard and swam until a friendly 
spectator picked him up. The captain or " con- 
nor " sat on the gunwale opposite the mast and 
handled the jib sheets. Next to him was the man 
who shifted ballast, then the one who held the 
main sheets, and finally the steersman. The 
" connor " sailed the boat and the fact that he 
was " connor " proved that he had become a 
master of the art of dinghy sailing. Keen of eye, 
and self-reliant, he not only watched his antag- 
onists, but took advantage of every slant of wind, 
passing his orders to the steersman. A slight 
ripple far ahead, or the behaviour of other boats 
often told the " connor " what he wanted to know, 
and luffing, luffing, he worked his craft to a wind- 
ward position and to victory if he made no 

With every stitch of canvas drawing and the 
mast buckling like whalebone, with her lee gun- 
whale under water and her men leaning so far out 
to windward that their backs were flecked with 
foam that is the way the old Bermuda dinghy 
drove along under the impetus of a full breeze. 
And all while the boy was bailing and the ballast- 
shifter was juggling heavy pigs of lead, resting 


one on his knees and another on his chest as he 
stretched his length over the weather side, his toes 
braced in cleats. It was a picture never to be 
forgotten. Turning the weather stakeboat, sheets 
were slacked and the spinnaker was broken out. 
This was a tricky moment, for the weight of can- 
vas forward caused the^boat to bury her head. 
All hands huddled aft and there they sat y seem- 
ingly between two walls of foam. Little of the 
boat could be seen. If the load of canvas proved 
to be too heavy, there was only one ending. The 
dinghy rolled, buried and slowly sank, leaving the 
crew floundering in the water. As she went down 
a buoy attached to the boat floated to the surface, 
and salvage operations began immediately. Often 
it was possible to pull the boat to the surface and 
rig her with a dry suit of sails in time for the 
next event. 

Eldon H. Trimingham, one of the most skilful 
yachtsmen ever bred in Bermuda, has called dinghy 
racing " acrobatic sailing " and pointed out that 
certain manoeuvres which are constantly used in 
decked boats could not be attempted without dis- 
astrous results in a racing dinghy. He attributes 
the decline of the sport to the fact that Bermuda 
has taken up international racing, which demands 
standard rather than unique designs in competing 


The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club has a long and 
honourable history. It was organized as the Ber- 
muda Yacht Club by a group of civilians and 
army officers at a meeting held under Tom Moore's 
calabash tree on November 1, 1844, the first com- 
modore being Lord Mark Kerr of the Twentieth 
Regiment. Its first regatta was held in 1845, 
when Prince Albert, the Prince Consort, became 
a member of the club and Queen Victoria gave 
permission for the organisation to be called the 
Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. Two years later 
the Lords of the Admiralty authorized the club 
to fly the blue ensign of the Royal Navy with its 
own distinctive emblem thereon. This was an 
honour few colonial yacht clubs then enjoyed, for 
vessels flying the red ensign must first salute the 
blue. There are several old challenge cups in the 
club's possession, among them one presented by 
the late Duke of Edinburgh, who succeeded his 
father as patron, and another by Princess Louise, 
who visited Bermuda in 1883. In 1901 the Prince 
of Wales, now King George V, became the club's 
patron. His Majesty, an ardent yachtsman, saw 
service as a young naval captain at Bermuda; 
he was then the Duke of York, with no thought 
of ever ascending the throne. Two other clubs 
are active in local racing the Hamilton Dinghy 
Club and the St. George's Yacht Club. 


One of the American yachting classics is the 
biennial ocean race from New London to Bermuda. 
Sometimes a Bermuda boat is entered in the con- 
test; usually Bermudians are found among the 
crews of various yachts. The race is only for 
those who enjoy the rough and tumble of deep 
water. It is by no means a picnic ; in bad weather 
it means days of hard, wet work, with cold food 
and very little sleep. Also it is a good test in 
navigation, for Bermuda is not an easy place to 
find even under the best conditions, and a slight 
error in calculation will carry a boat off her 
course and perhaps past the islands. The first 
of these races was organized in 1906 by Thomas 
Fleming Day of New York and was sailed for a 
cup donated by Sir Thomas Lipton. The event 
has maintained its popularity through the years ; 
moreover, it has had the effect of creating among 
American yachtsmen a group of competent navi- 
gators and a fleet of sturdy yachts suitable for 
deep water racing. 

The fisherman who tries his luck in Bermuda 
waters may be disappointed particularly if he is 
familiar with the grounds off the Florida and 
Southern California coasts. He will not encounter 
the sailfish or the tarpon or tuna; he will learn 
that the big Bermuda fish make deep soundings ; 
that an offshore voyage in a relatively small boat 


is necessary to reach them ; and that the handline 
instead of the rod is used. Local conditions are 
such that fishing is not the keen sport which one 
finds in Florida ; nevertheless, the salt water angler 
can have his measure of fun in Bermuda and prob- 
ably some surprises if he puts himself in the hands 
of a native fisherman who knows the secrets of 
reefs and deeps. 

There are a respectable number of Bermuda 
fish with the fighting instinct. The dean is the 
rockfish, running up to one hundred pounds a 
worthy antagonist that burns the line into tender 
fingers and leaves memories of a sharp battle. The 
amber fish, the hogfish, and the chub are game all 
the way through; the pink snapper, living many 
fathoms deep, is a prize for any man's dinner 
table. For downright treachery green and spotted 
morays, long, supple and slimy, are to be com- 
mended. Israel, a leather-skinned fisherman of 
veracity, as fishermen go, often related with 
proper emphasis the tale of how he and his 
partner, Toby, caught and lost a green moray as 
large as a man. Toby violated all ethics of the 
game by trying to haul the fish over the gunwale 
before it had been dispatched, and both men were 
viciously attacked. "To get rid of the devil," 
as Israel said, they shinned the mast and capsized 
the dinghy. Believe the yarn or not, it is fool- 


hardy to take chances with the teeth of a green 
moray; one that was captured for the New York 
Aquarium bit a piece out of a thick plank in its 
struggle for liberty. 

One of the thrills of night offshore fishing are 
provided by cub sharks. They appear suddenly, 
bent on mischief. They cavort, plunge, and stir 
up the phosphorescent sea a hungry, ugly mob. 
All other fishing suspends, but the sharks are a 
show in themselves ; one can have as many of them 
as one wants. For some reason or other the ordi- 
nary person shudders at the idea of eating shark, 
but the highly spiced dish that a Bermuda cook 
can make out of a sixpenny cub is not to be 

In May, when the groupers are " snapping " 
along the south shore, there is the fastest kind of 
fishing. Big, strong, and endowed with enormous 
mouths, the groupers are ravenous and reckless, 
biting even at unbaited hooks. Grouper fishing is 
highly professional. Just before the fish are due 
to arrive, the grounds are baited and anyone who 
has not contributed his share of bait is an un- 
welcome visitor when fishing actually begins. The 
boats anchor bow to bow in a circle and every 
effort is made to keep the fish alive and in good 
condition. A few of the larger boats have wells 
into which the captives are dumped; the others 


trail out lines on which the fish are strung and 
kept overboard. The groupers on the lines be- 
come "winded" or inflated, and thus they are 
towed ashore after the day's fishing to be put 
into " ponds " and fattened for market. Cub 
sharks sometimes raid the lines, but the shark is 
a hazard that must be expected. Only hardy 
amateurs who are immune to seasickness dare take 
a hand in grouper fishing; even so, too many hours 
of tossing in a small boat under a hot sun are 
likely to take toll of the hardiest. 

Some of the smaller fishes, such as breams, 
grunts, sailor's choice, grey snappers and porgies 
are plentiful in shallow water, where one can watch 
them nibble at the bait, but others are too shy to 
touch a hook and must be trapped in " pots " or 
taken in nets. The great variety of species, and 
their brilliant colouring, apart from their quali- 
ties as game, are sources of delight to the sports- 
man who is also more or less of a naturalist. It 
is a very simple matter to turn naturalist in Ber- 
muda. Just put on a diving helmet, have yourself 
lowered to bottom, stroll among the sea gardens, 
and make friends with the fishes. There is no 
danger, for the air that is pumped into the helmet 
keeps the water out, and through little windows 
the diver sees an enthralling submarine world. The 
diving helmet has added a thrill to bathing in 

Bermuda. One adventure with a helmet leads to 


Of the ordinary bathing, little need be said. 
The water, clear as crystal and never polluted 
water that rolls in from the deep ocean speaks 
eloquently for itself. One may have surf or still 
water bathing; there are also numerous pools. 
Bathing in primitive Bermuda fashion is delight- 
ful. Take a boat to an uninhabited island, un- 
dress behind a convenient bush and get into bath- 
ing togs, then plunge overboard that is the 
way. Men use one side of the island as a dressing 
room, the women the other. Not a soul disturbs 
the party. Afterwards, a picnic on the rocks. 
Bermudians stand by the good old custom of pic- 
nicking; they carry tea kettles, spirit lamps, 
water bottles and every necessity for a square 
meal, and thus give an air of sociability to a 
bathing expedition. A word of warning to sun 
bathers! Don't overdo it; get your sunburn 
gradually. Too many bathers, unaware of the 
power of the Bermuda sun suddenly find them- 
selves with burns that are more than superficial, 
and they become medical cases, suffering torture 
for days. 

From time to time groups of famous swimmers 
give exhibitions in Bermuda, while the annual lawn 
tennis and golf tournaments attract American, 


Canadian and British players of high calibre. 
Bermuda has many excellent clay, cement, and 
turf tennis courts and also offers the best of sport 
to the golfer; in fact, the islands are a golfer's 
haven second to none. Several of the Bermuda 
courses were laid out by noted golf architects 
whose ingenuity in taking advantage of the rolling 
terrain is apparent even to the most hopeless 
duffer. The first of the eighteen-hole courses to 
be laid out was that of the Riddell's Bay Golf and 
Country Club in Warwick Parish, covering a wide 
neck of land jutting out into the Great Sound. 
Here is delightful golfing country with water on 
three sides and a sweeping panorama of the War- 
wick hills, the islands of the Great Sound, and the 
city of Hamilton, The clubhouse is a typical old 
Bermuda dwelling, and nearby are cottages for 
visiting players who want to settle down for a 
long sojourn. Also in Warwick is the eighteen- 
hole course of Belmont Manor Hotel, rolling over 
picturesque country and attracting many players. 
A nine-hole course, connected with Elbow Beach 
Hotel is on the south shore of Paget, while on the 
north shore of Devonshire, below Prospect and 
northeast of Hamilton is the Devonshire course, 
which was originally built for the officers of the 
garrison. This also is a nine-hole course, and so 
is the Frascati course, at the Flatts an attract- 


ive bit of golfing country with views commanding 
the ocean and the Harrington Sound district. 

Golfers of many lands know Mid-Ocean, which 
is recognised as one of the premier courses in the 
Western Hemisphere, Mid-Ocean covers part of 
a tract of several hundred acres fronting on Har- 
rington Sound, Castle Harbour, and the Atlantic. 
Its charm lies not only in its superb fairways but 
in its impressive scenery long beaches backed 
by rugged cliffs, sand dunes bound together by 
trailing vines, wooded hills, striking vistas of 
thundering surf and peaceful water. Mid-Ocean is 
more than a golf course; it is a restricted park 
with a large modern clubhouse and attractive villas 
that follow the Bermuda style of architecture. The 
course, with three tees for each of its eighteen 
holes, is a monument to its designers, Charles B. 
MacDonald, first amateur golf champion of the 
United States, and Seth J. Raynor- After the 
task had been completed, Mr. MacDonald made 
this enthusiastic comment: "I can assure my 
golfing friends, a more fascinating, more pic- 
turesque, course than the Mid-Ocean will not be 
found in a pilgrimage around the world." 

Not far from Mid-Ocean is the eighteen-hole 
Castle Harbour Hotel course, which was laid out 
by Charles Banks. The setting is singularly fas- 
cinating; the diversified scenic effect is one of 


great beauty. At St. George's is the nine-hole 
course of the St. George Hotel. The fairways 
traverse rolling land behind the Meteorological 
Station at Fort George toward the ocean on the 
north shore of St. George's Island. Another nine- 
hole course at St. George's covers part of the 
property owned by the Biological Station at 
Shore Hills. 

Wherever the British flag flies, there you will 
find soccer, cricket and horse racing. Bermuda 
is no exception to the rule. The Bermuda boy 
takes as readily to cricket as he does to a boat, 
and scattered over the islands are numerous 
elevens, white and coloured, naval and military. 
The coloured people are especially keen on cricket 
and turn out first-rate players, even sending teams 
to New York for matches with the coloured elevens 
of the metropolitan district. The annual match 
between the Somerset and St. George's coloured 
elevens draws the largest gallery to be seen at any 
Bermuda sporting event. Good cricket it always 
is, played with a fine knowledge of the game and 
with all the traditional etiquette. 

Horsemen can find good mounts in Bermuda 
and glorious stretches of beach for a gallop. The 
Hunt Club affords them opportunities to join its 
paper chases over fairly stiff country, and in 
winter they can attend the race meets at Shelly 


Bay course. Although this track is unsuitable 
for first-class racing it has its traditions, and its 
meets are well patronized. When the Bermuda 
Derby is run a procession of carriages, donkey 
traps and bicycles converges upon the course, for 
this is not only a sporting event but a social 



BEEMUDIANS govern themselves through the me- 
dium of a Colonial Parliament, consisting of the 
House of Assembly, a body of thirty-six elected 
members, and the Legislative Council of nine 
members, who are appointed by the Crown. The 
Governor and Commander-in-Chief, usually a 
lieutenant-general either of the Royal Artillery 
or Engineers, is also a Crown appointee, serving 
from three to five years. 

The census of 1931 gave the population as 
27,789, the divisions being as follows : White 
male, 6090; female, 5263; coloured male, 
8084; female, 8352. The census total of 1921 was 
20,127. Thus the population showed an increase 
of 7662 in ten years, a marked increase in the 
number of white inhabitants being recorded. In 
1921, 7006 white inhabitants and 13,121 coloured 
were counted; in 1931, the count was 11,353 
white, 16,436 coloured. The population density, 
after deducting naval and military property from 
the colony's total area, was 1,625 per square 
mile. The bulk of the population is concentrated 
in Pembroke, Paget, Devonshire, Sandys and St. 
George's parishes. 

Political and economic codes handed down 


through generations have produced some anoma- 
lies which are worthy of attention. Any man, 
white or coloured, is qualified to stand for elec- 
tion to the House of Assembly if he possesses a 
freehold rated at 240, the rating always being 
the actual value of the property, and he may be a 
candidate in any parish. To exercise the franchise 
a man must receive the profits of a freehold rated 
at 60. In this connection a husband is legally 
entitled to be registered in respect of his wife's 
real estate, and a voter holding property in two 
or more parishes may vote in those parishes. Thus 
a freeholder may have several votes. 

Each of the nine parishes returns four members 
to the Assembly, without regard to the size of their 
respective constituencies, and while this system of 
distribution is contrary to the recognised princi- 
ple that a small number of voters shall not have 
the same parliamentary representation as a larger 
number, it is satisfactory to the Bermvdians inas- 
much as it equalises the voice of each parish in the 
affairs of government and prevents that concen- 
tration of administration which is so much to be 
feared in a small colony having representative 
institutions. The tenacity with which the older 
families have retained their holdings, and the 
absence of thrift on the part of the working class 
are factors which have operated to concentrate 


property in the hands of a comparatively few in- 
dividuals, and notwithstanding the small sum nec- 
essary to enable a man to qualify as a voter, there 
were in 1931 only 1807 electors, of which 1077 
were white and 730 coloured. 

These are the men who actually rule Bermuda 
through their chosen representatives, but the very 
land which gives property holders the right to 
vote is not taxed for purposes of general revenue, 
and the monetary support they extend to the 
government is not greater than that given by 
their tenants, to whom political privileges are de- 
nied. That is to say, tenant as well as landlord, 
pays his share of indirect taxation through the 
tariff, which provides the bulk of revenue. The 
property holder, however, supports certain parish 
and municipal enterprises, but his assessments are 
exceedingly small, by comparison with other coun- 
tries, and he lives as nearly tax free as he might 
wish. One might say almost without contradic- 
tion that the Bermudian's burden of taxes is the 
lightest in existence. 

In recent years aliens have been allowed to ac- 
quire property, but they are not permitted to vote 
on it, although subjected to parochial assessments 
and jury duty. Before the alien law was enacted 
the property of a woman who married an alien 
might pass to the government by escheat, and this 


legal obstacle was supposed to have prevented 
some women from marrying outside of Bermuda. 
At all events, the islands once were credited with 
an excess of " old maids," but the roving nature 
of the men in old days may have had as much to 
do with female celibacy as the law. With the 
beginning of more cordial relations between Great 
Britain and the United States in the Spanish- 
American war period, Bermuda ceased to be re- 
garded primarily as a fortress, and this circum- 
stance, combined with the disposition of Americans 
to maintain winter residences there, was responsi- 
ble for a more liberal policy toward aliens. The 
alien legislation, however, is not intended to en- 
courage the acquisition of property for specu- 
lative purposes, and attempts in this direction 
would be frustrated by the Governor in Council, 
in whom is vested power to approve or disapprove 
purchases by persons who hold allegiance to 
countries other than Great Britain. The total 
area of land held by aliens cannot, under the law, 
exceed 2000 acres. 

General elections are held every five years, but 
as the electoral body is too small to demand the 
aid of party machinery, political contests are mat- 
ters of individuals rather than of policies. Mem- 
bers of the house are therefore free to serve their 
constituents without interference from partisan 


sources. They receive a nominal salary or fee of 
eight shillings for each day's attendance, but 
this sum merely covers travelling expenses in the 
case of a majority; accordingly, the honour of 
service is the chief reward held out to the 

Public office attracts, as it has always, members 
of the more conspicuous families, and notwith- 
standing the disparity of electors, the legislators 
generally are amenable to public opinion when 
vital issues are concerned, rarely failing in the 
long run to accomplish their duty toward the 
people as a whole. The very fact that the public 
debt has been kept within prudent limits and 
adequately protected, and the additional fact that 
the colony is self-supporting and able to meet its 
yearly obligations, are indications of conservatism 
in legislation and proof of the Bermudian's 
capacity for self-government. 

The revenue is derived from ad valorem duties 
amounting to 12% per cent, from moderate specific 
duties, from lighthouse tolls (paid by incoming 
ships), receipts of the postal establishment, court 
and office fees, and miscellaneous items. Out of 
the revenue are supported legislative, judicial, and 
customs establishments, an island constabulary, 
jails, a lunatic asylum, library, museum, and ex- 
periment garden; and the government engages 


In public works and maintains approximately one 
hundred miks of good roads, of which the colony 
is justly proud. A fair proportion of the ex- 
pense for the executive branch of government is 
also borne by the colony. 

Writing ia the National Geographic Magazine 
for January, 1922, William H. Taft, said: "We 
must realize, in calling that of Bermuda a popular 
government, that it is a government of landed 
holders and not of manhood electors," but, he ad- 
ded, it is "efficient." One reason for its efficiency 
and financial stability lies in its sound system of 
budgetary control, whereby expenditures are care- 
fully checked against the annual revenue. The 
government has usually lived within its yearly in- 
come and has often been able to show a substantial 
surplus in the treasury. The Bermuda Blue 
Book states that the total revenue for 1930 
amounted to 429,190, and the expenditures to 

Dating from 1620, the Colonial Parliament is 
one of the oldest law-making bodies in existence. 
In the beginning legislative functions of the colo- 
nists were subject to the by-laws and regulations 
of the Bermuda Company, but with the abrogation 
of the company's charter the power of the House 
was greatly extended, as its duties, instead of 
mainly concerning the private affairs of the pro- 
s. took cosmsance of the whole field of posi- 


tive law. Controversies between the Assembly and 
various governors arose upon occasions, particu- 
larly during the American War of the Revolution, 
but their differences usually related to matters 
political, and no serious constitutional question 
was ever raised. No constitutional change, in fact 
no change of any importance, has taken place 
in the House since the company's charter was 

What may be termed the constitutional privi- 
leges of the House of Commons, the right to grant 
supplies, to appropriate grants, to claim redress 
of grievances before supplies are granted, seem 
always to have been among the admitted privileges 
of the House of Assembly. The Council is the 
lineal descendant of the company's Council, which 
was appointed by the Governor, sat with the As- 
sembly, and concerned itself with the enforcement 
of the law. After 1683 the Council was appointed 
by the Crown, and until 1888 it sat not only as the 
upper branch of the Parliament, but as the Gov- 
ernor's advisory body, giving assent in the latter 
capacity to bills passed by the House of Assembly. 
The law of 1888 created two councils, one legis- 
lative, the other executive, both having certain 
members in common. In recent years three mem- 
bers of the House have been appointed to the 
Executive Council while retaining their elective 


offices. Membership of the Legislative Council 
includes the chief justice, who acts as president, 
the colonial secretary and receiver general, the 
theory being that these officials, by their contact 
with administrative affairs, are peculiarly fitted to 
mould legislation. 

The work of the Legislature is distinguished by 
the absence of those methods of obstruction which 
sometimes find favour in the House of Commons 
and in the Congress of the United States. Bills 
may be introduced in either House, with this im- 
portant exception: that bills involving the ex- 
penditure of public money must originate in the 
House of Assembly, and with regard to these 
bills the Council has only the power of acceptance 
or rejection in toto, not of amendment on details. 
By this rule public expenditures are placed in 
the hands of representatives of the voting class. 

Bills are read three times in the House, the 
discussion taking place on the second reading, 
when the members go into the committee of the 
whole to consider details. This procedure permits 
a member to address the* chair as frequently as he 
pleases, and there is less formality than in the 
House, for with the speaker in the chair a member 
may speak only once, although the original mover 
is privileged to speak once in reply. 

After passing three readings a bill is sent to the 


other legislative branch for concurrence. There 
it passes through similar stages, and, if amended, 
is sent back to the House in which it originated. 
If this House concurs, no complications arise ; if it 
does not, the other House has the option of insist- 
ing upon its changes or accepting the measure 
in its original form. It it insists, the bill is lost ; 
if it does not insist, the bill is passed and laid before 
the Governor, who usually gives his assent unless 
there has been some informality in the manner of 

Unless there is a ** suspending clause " the bill 
then becomes law, but if such a clause is attached, 
providing that " this act shall not come into opera- 
tion until His Majesty's 'pleasure has been made 
known concerning the same," the measure awaits 
the royal pleasure before enactment. The sus- 
pending clause is not on every bill, but is usually 
added to measures of great public importance, or 
those which make drastic changes in the existing 

Local affairs in the parishes are conducted by 
" vestries," which are chosen yearly by the electors. 
The vestries have charge of the relief of the poor 
and pauper lunatics, acting also as local boards 
of health. To carry out these objects they are 
empowered to impose assessments on real estate. 

The parochial system is an ancient institution, 


dating back to the days of settlement. When no 
church or denomination was recognised by law 
except the Church of England, the vestries were 
authorised to raise money for the maintenance of 
the parish churches and ministry by an assessment 
of all property held by persons in connection with 
the Established Church and others, and pew rents 
were appropriated to the relief of the poor and 
various secular purposes. In 1867, however, it 
was deemed just to exonerate from liability to 
assessment for the Church of England all persons 
who contributed toward the maintenance of other 
churches. Elective bodies called church vestries 
were thereupon instituted to control all matters 
pertaining to the Church of England, and pew 
rents were restricted exclusively to the use of 
parish churches. The vestries were also per- 
mitted to assess communicants Then pew rents 
proved insufficient to maintain church and clergy. 
Grants by the government to the Church of 
England are no longer allowed, and the Bermuda 
Church Society, organised in 1876 to accumulate 
a fund for the benefit of the clergy, has taken the 
place of the Treasury, thus fulfilling the purposes 
of its founders, who saw the necessity of providing 
against the day when legislative aid would no 
longer be forthcoming. In Bermuda as in 
most of the British colonies the Established 


Church holds the premier position; but other re- 
ligious bodies, more particularly the Wesleyan 
Methodist, Presbyterian, and African Methodist, 
are strong numerically and possess valuable prop- 
erty, which is held either by trust, deed, or special 
act of the Legislature. 

Only within recent years has Bermuda possessed 
any but an archaic judicial system. While the 
Bermuda Company existed, certain members of 
the Council performed the duties of chief justice, 
and practically all the jurisdiction was on the 
common law side, with juries to hear the cases. 
A few years after the abolition of the company a 
chief justice was appointed, the court holding the 
lengthy title of " King's Bench Oyer and Terminer 
and Gaol Delivery," and taking cognisance of both 
civil and criminal matters. 

Later, the Governor in Council began to exer- 
cise equitable functions, sitting as a Court of 
Chancery, and in many cases affording relief to 
parties to whom justice was not forthcoming in 
the King's Bench by reason of the highly technical 
nature of the pleading and practice in this court. 
In 1744 the Legislature abolished appeals to the 
Governor in Council as the Court of Chancery, 
but established the same body as the Court of 
Errors to hear appeals from the common law 
court (King's Bench). Thus there was the 


anomaly of the Governor in Council a purely 
lay body exercising a jurisdiction as the Court 
of Chancery concurrent with the common law court, 
as well as a superior jurisdiction at common law 
as the Court of Appeal from the King's Bench. 
Naturally, inconveniences arose from this state of 
affairs, and they influenced the work of the court 
so late as the year 1908. 

The courts continued to exist as set forth, with 
statutory changes in detail only, until 1814, when 
the Legislature fused all common law jurisdictions 
into one court, that of General Assize, and brought 
the practice up to the English standard of that 
date. In 1876 the equity jurisdiction was taken 
from the Governor in Council and placed in the 
Court of Assize, though the former body still con- 
tinued to hear appeals from the latter. The great 
difficulty which faced the common law courts lay 
in the complicated nature of their rules and regula- 
tions. Up to the latter part of the eighteenth 
century the pleadings, or statements of fact relied 
upon by either party to a cause and filed by them 
before action were in Latin, and practically up to 
1904 technical errors in pleadings were fatal to 
clients, who had to start afresh after paying costs 
already incurred. 

From time to time acts were passed with the 
purpose of simplifying the work of dispensing 


justice, but they were of little value, and the old 
order continued until Chief Justice Gollan ar- 
rived from England in 1904. He proceeded to 
rip up the planks of ancient fabric, and the Legis- 
lature, at his suggestion, merged all courts, 
whether common law or chancery, into one, 
termed the Supreme Court, fused law and equity, 
and gave the court power to make rules governing 
the pleading and practice. As a consequence, the 
technicalities of former days have disappeared, 
and the court's business is despatched with greater 

The last change in the judicial system took 
place in 1908. Then the Legislature abolished 
the Court of Errors, which had subsisted in the 
Governor in Council for upward of one hundred 
and seventy years, and directed that in future all 
appeals should be from the Supreme Court direct 
to the King in Council. 



Several distinct phases mark the social and 
economic development of Bermuda. We see, first 
of all, the difficult period of settlement, beginning 
in 1612, and a courageous people pioneering 
under primitive conditions. Bound to the practise 
of agriculture by their masters, the shareholders 
of the Bermuda Company in London, these tenant- 
farmers faced for many years nothing but hard- 
ship and poverty, often abuse and disease. They 
cleared the land, planted tobacco, and culti- 
vated vegetables, but the soil gave meagre returns 
and they could never satisfy the demands of the 
London shareholders, absentee landlords most of 
them. Bermuda was not a paying venture from 
the corporate viewpoint; its resources were too 
slim. Time, however, played into the hands of 
the settlers, who, as events proved, actually had 
the better end of the bargain, and in 1684, when 
the Bermuda Company was legally dissolved and 
the colony reverted to the Crown, the people found 
themselves in a position where they could progress 
without undue restriction. 

Next came what might be called the " maritime 


era." The colonists, now their own masters, and 
thoroughly convinced that at best farming was an 
uncertain occupation, looked toward the sea. 
They built small ships of cedar; they traded in 
the West Indies and along the seaboard of the 
American colonies; they raked salt in the Baha- 
mas ; they engaged in privateering ; some of them 
hoisted the black flag of piracy. They became 
known as first-rate seamen and shipwrights and 
they sold to the buccaneers of the West Indies 
native-built sloops, or barques, as they were then 
called craft that easily outsailed the larger and 
clumsier vessels that were prey for the freebooters. 

How the Bermudians neglected agriculture when 
they followed the sea, their precarious position 
during the American Revolution, and the dissolu- 
tion of their merchant fleet, are facts related in 
previous chapters. Nevertheless, their seafaring 
enterprises fostered a self-reliant spirit and laid 
the foundation for a more substantial mode of liv- 
ing. Bermuda was still a struggling colony, al- 
though it had justified the faith of its people. 

With the abolition of slavery under British 
dominion in 1834, Bermuda's maritime era came 
to an end and there followed a new development 
in which the Imperial Government played a large 
role. The War of 1812 had taught Britain that, 
strategically, the Bermudas occupied an important 


position in relation to trade routes leading to the 
American coast and to the West Indies, British 
overseas trade was growing and the Empire was 
expanding; hence it was desirable to have in mid- 
Atlantic a fortified outpost for the protection of 
commerce. Over a long period of years huge sums 
were expended on the Bermuda dockyard, on forti- 
fications, barracks, and other military works. No 
effort was spared to make Bermuda an impreg- 
nable fortress, adequately garrisoned and sup- 
plied. And, it may be stated parenthetically, that 
Bermuda, with its ring of reefs, was regarded as 
a second Gibraltar until modem long range guns 
and airplanes and dirigibles completely changed 
the aspect of warfare on sea and land. 

This phase of development also witnessed at- 
tempts to improve methods of agriculture, efforts 
that were destined to lead to a considerable export 
trade in farm products. Another source of rev- 
enue was concerned with the sea. These were the 
great days of sailing ships, and vessels in distress 
were constantly driven to the islands, thus giving 
work to salvage crews and repair yards. Some of 
the lame ducks, as the shipping men called them, 
were abandoned by the underwriters and many 
more, refitted, went to sea again, their names pass- 
ing into memory. With the decline of sail, the 
Bermuda shipping firms turned their attention to 


the coaling trade, the heavy winter gales of the 
Atlantic bringing them a succession of tramp 
steamers in need of fuel to carry them to their 
destinations. The trade, though dependent on 
varying weather conditions, maintained its vigour 
and was profitable until larger, more efficient 
freighters came into being, to be followed by oil- 
burning steamers and motor ships. In the latter 
part of this period the basis of the tourist trade 
was laid, and it increased slowly in volume until 
the Great War put a temporary end to the busi- 
ness. For the greater part of the war Bermuda 
was almost bereft of passenger steamship service, 
but soon after hostilities ceased the tourist trade 
was revived and stimulated to a degree hitherto 
deemed impossible. 

No record of recent Bermuda history would be 
complete without recognition of the tourist in- 
vasion which, though peaceful in nature, wrought 
within a few years many physical changes and 
stirred the currents of native life for better or 
worse, according to the viewpoint. The tourist 
army was recruited under the banner of a per- 
sistent advertising campaign launched by the 
Colonial Government, acting through the Bermuda 
Trade Development Board, and strongly sup- 
ported by the steamship interests. The results 
of the campaign exceeded all expectations. Not 


only did the tourists come in steadily increasing 
numbers, but in their train came many problems 
and perplexities. There was, for instance, the 
necessity for larger, faster and more comfortable 
passenger steamships. These were provided. 
Larger ships called for deeper and wider chan- 
nels. Accordingly, the government was compelled 
to embark upon an extensive programme of chan- 
nel improvement. Existing hotels proved to be 
inadequate ; more were provided. The demand for 
sports facilities required the building of a chain 
of golf courses. Telephone and electric light and 
power services were obliged to expand ; the burden 
laid upon inland transportation the horse and 
carriage resulted in the construction of a rail- 
way. Moreover, overseas communications were 
improved, the submarine cable connecting Ber- 
muda with Halifax and Jamaica being supple- 
mented by a wireless telegraph station and 
finally by a radio telephone service to North 
America. The capital outlay for all this develop- 
ment ran into millions of pounds sterling, which 
in time was largely offset by the expenditures of 
the tourists, most of whom were Americans. 

When Bermuda first opened her campaign to 
attract visitors the advertising appeal was di- 
rected chiefly to those who sought a mild winter 
climate ; later the appeal was broadened to include 


summer vacationists, in view of the fact that Ber- 
muda temperatures in the warm months compare 
favorably with those of many northern resorts. 
Today the islands are an all-year playground, 
with steamship facilities that correspond to an 
ocean ferry service. The mass of tourists embark 
at New York, but Bermuda has direct steamship 
connections with other American ports, with 
Canadian ports, the West Indies and England. 
The liners built especially for the Bermuda trade 
are unique in their accommodations and appoint- 
ments and are a revelation to voyagers who made 
the crossing in older days and recall the size and 
arrangements of the ships aboard which they 
travelled. Apart from the regular services, West 
Indian cruising ships often make Bermuda a port 
of call on the way south; on occasions special 
week-end cruises are made from New York to the 
islands by liners in the transatlantic trade. 

The Bermuda hotels range from the de luxe 
type to those which cater to people of moderate 
means. Boarding houses are available for visitors 
who do not care for the excitement of hotel life; 
furnished houses for those who intend to make a 
long sojourn and prefer their own exclusive es- 
tablishments. The large permanent American 
colony includes people who have bought and re- 
modeled old houses or built their own places. Low 


taxes and the simplicity and freedom of Bermuda 
life are influences which have impelled a number 
of American families to make their homes in the 

Far-seeing Bermudians have realized that, al- 
though the tourist trade has brought unexampled 
prosperity to their little country, there is always 
the possibility that the flow of tourists may be 
diverted, to some degree at least, into different 
channels. In other words, these men contend that 
Bermuda should not have all of her eggs in one 
basket. Hence they urge wisely that the colony 
should remember the lessons of the past, develop 
its agricultural resources, and become more self- 
sufficient. Bermuda agriculture has been subject 
to periods of relative prosperity as well as dis- 
couragement. For many years New York was the 
farmer's natural market, to which in the winter 
and spring months he sent onions, potatoes, and 
green truck. He lost his market for onions when 
Texas found that it could grow onions of similar 
flavour and quality. Then he met strong competi- 
tion from California and southern truck farmers, 
whose grading, packing, and methods of distribu- 
tion were superior. Finally, the Ajnerican high 
tariff policy virtually killed his market for every- 
thing except potatoes. Now he has turned to 
Canada, which gives free entry to Bermuda prod- 


ucts and can absorb them before home-grown 
vegetables come on the market. 

As Bermuda is a miniature land, farming is 
conducted on a small scale. A few acres suffices 
the ordinary farmer, but intensive methods of 
cultivation and a sun and climate that induce 
quick growth, enable him to get excellent results 
from the thin soil. He grows tomatoes, beets, 
cabbages, carrots and celery for export; his 
onions and potatoes are second to none. Two 
crops of potatoes are harvested Bliss Triumphs, 
planted in September, and Chili Garnets, planted 
in January and February. Thus the farmer can 
market the greater part of the Triumph crop and 
the early portion of the Garnet crop when the 
American demand for new potatoes is at its 

Another crop of importance is the sturdy and 
fragrant Easter Lily, which offers an alluring 
spectacle when the fields come into bloom in the 
spring. Although quantities of buds are shipped 
to the United States and Canada at Easter, the 
lily is grown for its bulb, which finds favour with 
northern florists and nurserymen because it pro- 
duces strong, free-flowering plants. A successful 
effort has been made in Bermuda to use the Easter 
Lily and other flowers as a base for perfume ; this 
industry apparently has excellent possibilities. 


An American soldier. General Russell Hastings, 
who made his home in Bermuda, first cultivated 
the Easter Lily for commercial purposes, shipping 
the bulbs to New York florists, who bought them 
eagerly, and his enterprise led to the establish- 
ment of a lucrative industry, which reached a high 
peak in the closing years of the last century and 
then suddenly declined, owing chiefly to a marked 
deterioration in the stock. Subsequently, after 
patient experimentation, a strong and disease- 
free strain was developed, with the result that 
Bermuda bulbs again receive the recognition they 


When one meets a Bermuda farmer the chances 
are that he will prove to be not a native of British 
origin but a dark-skinned man, who was born 
under the Portuguese flag in the Azores, or whose 
father emigrated from those islands to make a 
home under the British flag. For the Portuguese 
is the backbone of Bermuda farming. He has the 
old-world love of the soil; he is industrious and 
adaptable; often his labour has brought him a 
fair measure of prosperity. Altogether he has 
proved himself to be a valuable asset to the colony. 
The farmer's interests are conserved by the De- 
partment of Agriculture, which maintains the 
Agriculture Station in Paget East, a few minutes 
by train from Hamilton. Here farming experi- 


ments of a diverse nature and pathological studies 
of plant diseases are constantly carried on. The 
Agricultural Station has cultivated close relations 
with the Departments of Agriculture at Washing- 
ton and Ottawa and with Kew Gardens in London, 
and as a consequence Bermuda has frequently 
called upon foreign scientists to aid in the task of 
meeting agricultural problems of especial interest 
to the colony. The knowledge made available by 
scientific research has been handed on to the 
farmer, with satisfying results in many cases. 

Not only has the Department of Agriculture 
encouraged the farmer to pursue modern methods 
of husbandry ; it has also concerned itself with the 
difficult task of distribution. Government inspec- 
tion of produce destined for shipment abroad was 
followed by government grading and packing 
when a serious attempt was made to invade the 
Canadian market. Produce that is mechanically 
graded and carefully packed in approved crates 
at the Agricultural Station's packing sheds, is 
entitled to bear the government's label, an assur- 
ance of quality that is accepted by the consumer. 
Thus there is little doubt that the successful in- 
vasion of the Canadian market will, in years to 
come, permit the farmer to regain much of his 
lost ground and benefit the colony as a whole. An 
indication of the farmer's difficulties is found in 


the fact that, in 1932, only 1,500 acres were under 
cultivation as compared with 3,000 ten years 

The writer ventures the opinion that Bermuda 
could, and should, grow much more produce for 
home consumption. The necessary land is avail- 
able, the hotels offer a potential market for fresh 
vegetables, and if a steady supply of green stuff 
were available a substantial proportion of the 
population could be weaned away from, canned 
goods. It is obvious that the colony is too de- 
pendent upon imported foodstuffs, too much in- 
clined to live on the contents of tin and carton. 
This condition is reflected in a scale of food prices 
that is ridiculously high when compared with 
prices in American and Canadian cities. 

One is astonished to find so little native grown 
fruit in an island upon which Nature has lavished 
a remarkable variety of trees and shrubs. One 
finds bananas in small plantations, but one looks 
in vain for groves of citrus fruits. The curious 
visitor is told that at one period Bermuda pro- 
duced quantities of peaches, oranges and figs ; 
that the Mediterranean fruit fly unknowingly 
introduced virtually put an end to the cultiva- 
tion of soft-skinned fruits; and that the loss of 
citrus fruits must be laid at the door of the purple 
scale, an even more serious pest. If Bermuda 


fruits had a definite commercial value, it is prob- 
able that a strong effort would be made to eradi- 
cate, or at least control, these destructive pests; 
as the situation stands the effort is not considered 
to be worth the expenditure it would entail. This 
may be practical economy from a governmental 
point of view ; nevertheless, Bermuda is poorer by 
having so little home-grown fruit. 

One of the colony's most persistent problems, 
now in a fair way toward solution, can be stated 
in one word water. The absence of springs 
and rivers, which is accounted for by the porous 
nature of the Bermuda limestone, has made the 
population dependent upon rainfall, the water 
being caught on the lime-washed roofs of houses 
and impounded in tanks and cisterns. Except in 
protracted periods of drought the supply of the 
individual householder has usually proved to be 
sufficient, although he has been careful at all times 
never to be wasteful. In fact, the water problem 
was not of vital importance until numerous hotels 
were built to meet the demands of a growing tran- 
sient population and modern plumbing was intro- 
duced in dwellings. Various measures were adopted 
to meet the situation thus created. For example, 
in some localities hillsides were stripped to the 
rock and made to serve as rain catches in the 
manner of roofs ; and at times water was imported 


in the ballast tanks of steamships for hotel use. 
These devices, however, did not provide the neces- 
sary margin of safety; something more was re- 
quired. In 1912 a deep well was driven in the 
vicinity of Gibb's Hill Lighthouse in the hope of 
tapping a hidden source. The drill went through 
limestone to a depth of 245 feet below sea level, 
then it struck volcanic rock, and next a bed of 
volcanic sand and gravel. From 560 to 1,278 feet 
basaltic lavas were encountered, and the experi- 
ment was ended. No water was produced, merely 
proof that the mountain platform on which Ber- 
muda stands is of volcanic origin. Thus the ex- 
periment, although disappointing to its sponsors, 
was highly gratifying to geologists who had long 
sought adequate proof of the theory that the 
Bermuda mountain is an extinct volcano. 

The drilling operation apparently disposed of 
the possibility of obtaining water from under- 
ground sources, and there the problem rested until 
the Honourable H. W. Watlington, member of the 
House from Devonshire Parish, determined to 
attack it from another angle. Mr. Watlington's 
attention had been drawn to the horizontal well 
system used in certain areas of the United States 
and he consulted two water engineers, Paul Nor- 
cross and Michael Singleton of Atlanta, Georgia, 
who made a report on the subject* The Bermuda 


Parliament was then asked to appropriate funds 
for experimental work, but the petition was re- 
fused. Subsequently, Mr. Watlington discussed 
the question with a Columbia University scientist, 
Professor W. D. Turner of the Department of 
Chemical Engineering, who had been invited to 
Bermuda to give professional advice on the recla- 
mation of marsh land. Professor Turner's opinion 
coincided with that of the Atlanta engineers, and 
he pointed out a locality in Devonshire Marsh 
where he was convinced that water could be ob- 
tained from a system of horizontal wells. There- 
upon Mr. Watlington began the experiment at his 
own expense, and it was soon proved that a large 
supply of rain water percolated through channels 
in the porous rock of the hills ; that it was held in 
suspension by the tide water seeping up from 
beneath ; and that it was possible to impound the 
layer of fresh water without including the salt 

The site of the Watlington water system is 
Devonshire Marsh, which is surrounded by rolling 
hills and thus affords an excellent drainage area. 
The system operates in this manner: In a trench 
above sea water level lies a pipe line with open 
joints to intercept the rain water that passes 
through the "underground channels in the hill 
above. "From the pipe the water flows into a 


cement well or collecting basin where it is filtered, 
softened, and then pumped to a reservoir at Pym- 
wood, whence it is distributed through mains to 
the city of Hamilton a few miles away, and to 
Paget and Warwick Parishes. 

The system went into commercial operation in 
February, 1932, and was pronounced an engineer- 
ing success, the water being of good quality. In 
January, 1933, Mr. Watlington received the hon- 
our of knighthood for his many public services. 
As the Moses who smote the rock and brought 
forth water abundantly, Sir Henry Watlington 
will long be remembered in Bermuda, for he solved 
a pressing problem in the face of many discour- 
agements and never lost faith. 

Those who take up residence in Bermuda, as- 
suming that they have children, are naturally con- 
cerned with the colony's educational facilities. 
Education is compulsory and separate schools for 
white and coloured pupils are maintained, some 
receiving grants of money from the Treasury 
while in the case of others the grant is made to 
the teachers. Several secondary schools for boys 
and girls are available, and in certain schools 
pupils are prepared for the Cambridge Local 
Examinations, a centre for which was established 
in Bermuda in 1891. In recent years the general 
level of education has been raised. One annual 


scholarship is awarded to Bermuda under the trust 
established by the will of Cecil John Rhodes and 
by act of the local Parliament provision is made 
to assist and encourage boys educated in Bermuda 
to pursue their studies abroad for the purpose 
of preparing to compete for Rhodes scholarships. 
A number of young Bermudians enroll in English, 
Canadian and American schools and colleges 
every year, some of them taking advantage of 
technical education scholarships established by 
the government. 

Bermuda's favorable geographical position with 
relation to Atlantic trade routes is an important 
asset. The islands lie nearly on the Great Circle 
route from Europe to the Gulf of Mexico, wMe 
the routes from the north of Europe and from 
Mediterranean ports to the Panama Canal are 
between 400 and 500 miles south of Bermuda. 
Thus the islands are readily accessible to steamers 
on these routes, in the event that they need coal, 
fuel oil, or repairs. 

It is highly probable that Bermuda will become 
an important port of call when transatlantic air 
mail routes are established. Meteorologists and 
aviation authorities, among them Dr. James H, 
Emball of the United States Weather Bureau at 
New York, maker of maps for LindbergH and 
other ocean fliers. Have expressed the conviction 


that the Southern air route from America to 
Europe, namely, the route via Bermuda and the 
Azores, is the logical one for reliable service, inas- 
much as it affords the maximum of good flying 
weather. The days of North Atlantic air mail 
lines, with sturdy, high-powered seaplanes, are not 
far distant; if the predictions hold, Bermuda as 
a haven for flying craft will enter a new phase of 



ONE significant aspect of the Bermuda scene is 
often overlooked: the relation of the islands to 
scientific research. Yet, long before the tourist 
discovered the charms of Bermuda, the man of 
science had found there a rich and profitable field 
of labour. The record of his work is preserved 
in a formidable library of books and journals, a 
library that grows constantly in interest and im- 
portance. Many of the earlier scientists who 
visited Bermuda were independent investigators; 
today scientific research is organised on a perma- 
nent foundation, and the islands are recognised 
territory for students and scholars with varied 
objectives, particularly those that lie in the 
illimitable field of biology. 

Bermuda owes a firm debt to such men as J. 
Matthew Jones and G. Brown Goode, who covered 
the natural history of the islands ; to J. L. Hurdis 
and Captain Savile G. Reid, who studied the 
birds ; and to the staff of the Challenger Expedi- 
tion, which visited Bermuda twice in 1873, made 
off-shore soundings, and blazed a classic trail in 
oceanography. On the roll, too, are the names 


of Alexander Agassiz (Harvard), who studied the 
coral reefs ; Angelo Heilprin (University of Penn- 
sylvania), Addison E. Verrill (Yale), author of 
"The Bermuda Islands," a striking example of 
indefatigable research; Edward L. Mark (Har- 
vard) and Charles L. Bristol (New York Uni- 
versity), both pioneers in the effort to establish 
the Bermuda Biological Station for Research ; and 
Nathaniel Lord Britton, for many years director 
of the New York Botanical Gardens, whose 
" Flora of Bermuda " leaves little more to be said 
about the botany of the islands. The list might 
be extended at length, but the present roster is 
sufficient to show the appeal which Bermuda makes 
to the scientific mind. 

The advantages of Bermuda for biological and 
oceanographic studies are admirably set forth by 
Professor Edwin G. Conklin of Princeton Univer- 
sity, President of the Board of Trustees of the 
Bermuda Biological Station for Research, in an 
article published in the June (1931) issue of The 
Scientific Monthly. Professor Conklin points out 
that, although the present land area is about 
twenty square miles, there is evidence that it was 
formerly much larger, covering about three hun- 
dred square miles. He goes on to say : 

** The entire Bermuda area is really the summit 
of a submerged mountain which rises steeply from 


the ocean floor of the North Atlantic. On all 
sides it slopes down more or less precipitously to 
depths of two miles or more. The core of this 
mountain is of volcanic origin, the summit is 
capped by aeolian limestone, and coral reefs sur- 
round most of the islands, leaving only a few ship 
channels into the inner lagoons and harhours. 

" The advantages of such a site for an oceanic 
station will be at once apparent. It is possible to 
live and work comfortably there in a modern 
laboratory on land and within a few minutes, in 
relatively small boats and at slight expense, to 
reach waters of abyssal depths. Only those who 
have experienced the difficulties and hardships of 
trying to do delicate scientific work on shipboard, 
or who have some knowledge of the time and ex- 
pense involved in voyages for the exploration of 
the deep sea, are in a position fully to appreciate 
the advantages of having that sea brought right 
to the doors of the laboratory. Johannes Schmidt, 
who has traced European and American eels back 
to their breeding places in the ocean deeps south 
of Bermuda, has said that ' Bermuda is like a 
research ship anchored in mid ocean,' but with 
this significant difference that it is a ship of 
great size and stability where one can live and 
work in comfort every month in the year in a 
laboratory witH all modern facilities. 


" The greatest area of the earth still relatively 
unexplored is found in the deep oceans ; here occur 
some of the most extraordinary animals that have 
ever been seen animals that live in absolute 
darkness except for their own luminescence, in ice- 
cold water, under enormous pressure and in the 
total absence of green plants. How are they 
adapted to these unusual conditions? How do 
they obtain food and oxygen. How do they re- 
produce, develop and evolve in this strangest of 
all worlds? Dr. Beebe's studies in Bermuda have 
demonstrated the wealth of deep-sea life that is 
there available and the relative ease with which it 
can be obtained. 

"Few places in the world are so suitable for the 
study of the deep sea, and the same is true with 
respect to the various life zones of the ocean from 
the floating plants and animals at the surface to 
the actual bottom. Bermuda lies within that 
great area of the Atlantic partially surrounded 
by the Equatorial Current and the Gulf Stream, 
and by means of these currents and the prevailing 
winds a wealth of floating life is drifted to its 
shores. Its land area is so small and it is so com- 
pletely isolated from the nearest continent that 
one finds there almost ideal conditions for oceanic 

" In addition to these biological advantages 


Bermuda offers excellent opportunities for the 
study of the physics and chemistry of the ocean, 
the salinity, oxygen content and temperatures of 
deep-sea waters, the surface currents, bottom drift 
and updwelling of the deeper waters, and the rela- 
tion of all these to the life of these waters." 

The focus of scientific work in Bermuda is 
the Biological Station, which is splendidly housed 
at Shore Hills, St. George's west, and is but a 
short distance from excellent collecting grounds. 
The station, now international in scope, had a 
modest beginning but a steady growth. It was 
established in 1903 at the Matts under the joint 
auspices of Harvard University and New York 
University, with Professor Edward L. Mark as 
director, and Professor Charles L. Bristol as as- 
sociate director. Three years later a site was 
purchased at the Flatts by the colony for a public 
aquarium and a biological station, but the condi- 
tion of the public finances did not permit building 
operations. Thereupon the Bermuda Natural 
History Society, which had been active in pro- 
moting the undertaking, leased Agar's Island, in 
the Great Sound, from the War Department 
and converted an old powder magazine into an 
aquarium. Inasmuch as the agreement between 
the two universities had been abrogated, the 
society invited Professor Mark, as the representa- 


tive of Harvard, to move the station to the island. 
There its activities, in which an increasing num- 
ber of scientists took part, were carried on until 
1917, the third year of the Great War, when the 
islands reverted to military purposes, being used 
as a supply station for the United States Navy. 
Dyer's Island now became the home of the Biolog- 
ical Station, but after the war it returned to 
Agar's Island, which was leased by Harvard 
University. The aquarium was discontinued. 

In 1925 a movement was begun to reorganize 
the station on a broader basis. The first step 
was to enlist the cooperation of biologists in Great 
Britain, the United States, and Canada for the 
purpose of forming a corporation which would 
give an international character to the station. 
Support was forthcoming, the corporation was 
organized, and a charter obtained from the State 
of New York, The next step concerned the choice 
of a site for the permanent home of the Biological 
Station. It was impossible to use the Flatts site 
because the Colonial Government had begun the 
construction of its aquarium there and the area 
was too small to accommodate two institutions. 
Finally, the Hunter tract at St. George's was 
selected, the Colonial Government agreeing to 
purchase this property and to make a grant of 
200 a year to the station for ten years, on con- 


dition that an endowment fund of 50,000 be 

Meanwhile a committee on oceanography ap- 
pointed by the National Academy of Sciences of 
the United States was preparing a report dealing 
with the extension of this branch of science. The 
committee favored the establishment of an oceano- 
graphic institution on the Atlantic seaboard, to 
be " supplemented by two branch stations, one 
sub-arctic and the other truly oceanic in location. 
The latter location would be served admirably by 
the Bermuda Biological Station for Research, 
Inc." With the approval of the report in No- 
vember, 1929, the Rockefeller Foundation made a 
grant of 50,000 to the station, and the Bermuda 
Government carried out its end of the bargain, 
purchasing the Hunter tract for 5,500 and con- 
veying it to the trustees of the station. Before 
building operations were undertaken the trustees 
found it possible to purchase the hotel property 
known as Shore Hills ; this was accomplished with 
the consent of the Government, which generously 
agreed to appropriate 5,500 toward the pur- 
chase price and to permit the trustees to reconvey 
the Hunter tract. 

Such in brief is the history of the Biological Sta- 
tion which, as a corporate body, formally opened 
its laboratory at Shore Hills on January 6, 1932, 


with Dr. J, F. G. Wheeler, a British biologist and 
zoologist, as resident director, and an era of 
wider usefulness before it. One significant feature 
is the international character of the corporation 
controlling the station, no less than ten countries 
being represented in the membership of this body 
when the enlarged institution was inaugurated. 
Three names are indelibly written into the records 
of the Biological Station those of Professor 
Mart, Professor Bristol, who did not live to see 
the fruitful results of the task to which he devoted 
so much time and effort; and F. Goodwin Gosling 
who, as a leading spirit in the Bermuda Natural 
History Society, gave the enterprise firm support 
from its very beginning. 

In Professor Conklin's article, previously 
quoted, mention is made of the work of Dr. 
William Beebe, who has devoted himself largely 
to studies of the strange and varied life in the 
deeps off Bermuda. Dr. Beebe, as director of the 
Department of Tropical Research of the New 
York Zoological Society, led a party of scientists 
to Bermuda in 1929 and took up residence at 
Nonsuch Island on the southern edge of Castle 
Harbour. Five miles off shore, Dr. Beebe plotted 
a circular area of investigation about eight miles 
in diameter and from half a mile to a mile in 
depth. Here for three summers he engaged in 


deep-sea collecting, using a tugboat to tow very 
slowly two miles of weighted wire on which were 
strung several nets that reached varying depths. 
At the end of each towing period the haul was 
taken to the Nonsuch laboratory, where individual 
specimens were identified, studied and dissected; 
some being preserved and others handed over to 
artists who made a pictorial record in colours of 
the most remarkable creatures. 

The deeps that Dr. Beebe explored with his 
townets are a world of intense cold and absolute 
darkness, where the water exerts a pressure of a 
ton on each square inch. It is a world without 
the vegetable life which floats in that zone pene- 
trated by sunlight, yet it is the home of myriads 
of fishes which exist, so it seems, merely to devour 
one another. Many of these fishes create their 
own cold light, thus defying the darkness. Some 
have luminous patches on their bodies; others 
carry light organs which look for all the world 
like the portholes of a ship; still others are 
equipped with telescopic eyes, searchlights, and 
long feelers ; not a few are armed with formidable 
teeth, grim necessities for a life that is fierce and 

Although the townets brought him much bio- 
logical treasure, Dr. Beebe was attracted by the 
possibility of actually invading this baffling world, 


hitherto plumbed only by a weighted wire. His 
opportunity came in- 1930 when, with Otis Barton, 
he descended 1426 feet, or more than a quarter 
of a mile, locked in a large steel cylinder or bathy- 
sphere, the invention of Mr. Barton and Captain 
John Butler. The bathysphere, built to withstand 
severe pressure and fitted with a heavy door, fused 
quartz windows, oxygen apparatus, electric light,' 
fan, thermometer, and chemicals for absorbing the 
carbon dioxide, was lowered slowly by a steel cable 
from a barge, passing through the zones of sun- 
light and twilight into the Stygian blackness of 
the deeps. Before the windows flitted many of 
the organisms made familiar by the nets ; in the 
dark zone the luminous fishes appeared to be 
identified and recorded. Thus the explorers, while 
reaching an ocean depth never before attained by 
man, had the satisfaction of proving that the 
hazards of the unknown submarine area could be 
overcome. Commenting later on his unique voyage, 
Dr. Beebe said: 

" The importance of the whole adventure may 
be summed up in a single sentence : The margin of 
safety, as we have demonstrated, makes future 
research in this direction possible and reasonable ; 
and the scientific results have proved to be greater, 
both in sheer number and accuracy of facts, and 
in philosophical values, than our utmost hopes had 


led us to believe possible." 

Again, in September, 1932, the two explorers 
gave their bathysphere a more severe test, reach- 
ing a depth of 2,200 feet, or nearly half a mile. 
At 1,700 feet their spectroscope failed to register 
even a glimmer of light; the darkness was abso- 
lute. Many deep sea organisms were observed and 
identified; fishes, six feet long and carrying lights, 
passed by the windows. A popular feature of this 
descent was the radio broadcast, Dr. Beebe tele- 
phoning his observations to the deck of the barge, 
whence they were put on the air waves. Later, 
other dives were made with profitable results. 

Let us turn now to the Bermuda Aquarium, 
which was opened in 1928 and immediately took 
rank among the aquariums of the world. Its im- 
portance lies not in size but In the richness and 
variety of its floral and faunal exhibits, all taken 
from Bermuda waters. In a very definite sense 
the attractions of the Aquarium can be credited 
to one man, Louis L. Mowbray, a Bermudian with 
wide experience in the science of icthyology. With 
his knowledge of local conditions, plus years of 
work as a collector in tropical and temperate 
waters, and a high artistic sense, Mr. Mowbray 
was able to endow each tank with an environment 
so natural that fishes and other marine animals 
find themselves thoroughly at home and actually 


reproduce their species in captivity. In reality 
the tanks are cross-sections of Bermuda's sea gar- 
dens separated from the visitor only by a pane of 
glass. Here is the panorama of life among the 
coral reefs; here one may study the breeding 
habits of fish, watch day by day the growth of 
corals, sponges and gloriously coloured anemones, 
and observe the slow process of reef-building. 

The purely scientific aspects of the Aquarium's 
work are still to be developed. It is obvious, how- 
ever, that this institution must in time become a 
centre for the observation of marine life. There 
are more than four hundred species of fish in 
Bermuda waters, but there is evidence that some 
of the more important edible fishes have been con- 
siderably reduced in number, possibly by unregu- 
lated fishing during the spawning season. Efforts 
to introduce new species of fish for food purposes 
have met with some success, but the real task of 
conservation has not begun. What other coun- 
tries have done in this field Bermuda can do, and 
it is reasonable to assume that a persistent pro- 
gramme of research into the breeding habits of 
native fish would eventually yield knowledge which 
could be applied for the benefit of the fisherman 
and the consumer of seafood. 

In 1932 Dr. Charles H. Townsend, director of 
the New York Aquarium, brought to Bermuda 


several hundred northern fish for release in local 
waters, bartering his cargo for \ consignment of 
native fishes. The incident recalls the fact that 
when the New York Aquarium decided years ago 
to exhibit tropical fish it turned to Bermuda for 
its source of supply. Professor Bristol inaugu- 
rated the work, collecting the specimens, " season- 
ing " them in the tanks of the old aquarium at 
Agar's Island in order to accustom the fish to 
captivity, and shipping them north in iron tanks, 
the water in which was aerated and kept at the 
same temperature as Bermuda water. Between sis 
and seven hundred fish were sent to New York 
every summer until the Aquarium found it more 
desirable to obtain its supply in Florida, 

It was neither Dr. Townsend nor Professor 
Bristol who first introduced Bermuda fishes to 
the New York public. That honour goes to the 
redoubtable Phineas T. Barnum. Ever on the 
alert for new thrills and exotic exhibits, Mr. 
Barnum conceived the idea of showing to New 
Yorkers rare and highly coloured fishes from 
tropical waters, and he sent out two expeditions 
one to Honduras, the other to Bermuda. Both 
returned without their fish, all having died in 
transit. Barnum was disappointed but was per- 
suaded by one of his assistants, W. E. Damon, to 
fit out the well-smack Pacific, which sailed to Ber- 


muda in the summer of 1862. Northerners and 
Southerners were then engaged in settling their 
differences on the battlefield, and in Bermuda, a 
centre of blockade running to Confederate ports. 
Northerners were regarded with suspicion. Soon 
it was rumoured that Mr. Damon, in his frequent 
trips across the bays and harbours, was taking 
soundings, not fish. Finally, a peremptory order 
from the authorities halted his work, and not until 
the American consul intervened in his behalf was 
Mr. Damon permitted to resume his harmless oc- 
cupation. His party caught six hundred fish, 
most of which were successfully landed in New 
York, to the greater glory and profit of Barnum, 
and the pleasure of his patrons at the Ann Street 
Museum. Barnum was, of course, actuated by no 
scientific motive; nevertheless, he demonstrated 
that tropical fish could be transported overseas 
and, under proper conditions, would live a certain 
length of time in captivity. Who will say, there- 
fore, that the master showman's enterprise did not 
have some scientific value? 

Another Bermuda scientific institution, the 
Meteorological Station at Fort George, St. 
George's, was opened in 1932, with Lieutenant- 
Commander BL B. Moorhead as director. The 
station, adequately equipped with modern appa- 
ratus, has more than local significance, for the 


outlying situation of Bermuda a link in the 
Atlantic between the temperate and the tropical 
zones makes the study of meteorological condi- 
tions there of high importance to shipmasters and 
aviators, and to other countries. Weather scien- 
tists are increasingly interested in the higher 
atmosphere, and it is believed that, occasionally 
at least, tropical storms far to the south or east 
of Bermuda reveal themselves in the upper levels. 
Hence much can be learned at the station by an 
intensified survey of the clouds their type, 
quantity and movement. An accumulation of data 
along these lines will be of untold value to air 
pilots flying the southern transatlantic route be- 
tween Bermuda and the Azores. Records of 
diurnal cloud developments will also assist both 
air and marine navigators; landfalls are fre- 
quently made at the Azores by observation of 
cloud effects over that area. Another field of study 
concerns the upper air temperatures with relation 
to the masses of cold air which flow from the north 
over Bermuda into the hurricane-breeding areas 
further south. These cold air masses are distin- 
guishable in unusual cloud types, in their changes 
of form, and in the direction of drift, and they 
have a direct bearing on the genesis of tropical 

The Bermuda Station has established firm rela- 


tions with the weather services of Great Britain, 
the United States, and Canada. It is in a position 
to supply much meteorological information for 
international broadcasts, particularly radio re- 
ports from the quadrant south-east of the islands. 
Locally, apart from the ordinary weather service, 
the Meteorological Station cooperates with the 
Biological Station, furnishing forecasts for those 
engaged in oceanic work in exchange for records 
of ocean currents and temperatures, which are 
important in meteorological studies. 

All of this scientific activity must stir the spirit 
of an old naturalist who in the last century lived 
on the Hunter tract, not far from the Biological 
Station. His name was John Tavenier Bartram, 
private of the Thirtieth Regiment, honourably 
discharged from the service of Her Majesty Queen 
Victoria. Bartram was a man of little education, 
but an enthusiastic and patient observer* For 
fifty years he tilled the soil, collected and cata- 
logued shells and corals, stuffed birds, stocked his 
own museum, engaged in geological studies, and 
gathered such a store of experience and knowledge 
that, when the Challenger Expedition visited Ber- 
muda, he was invited to join that distinguished 
company of scientists. Little did Bartram realize, 
as he humbly pursued his hobby, that Bermuda 
would one day become a centre of scientific 


Admiralty House, 177 
Agriculture, 35, 36, 71, 240, 

247, 248, 249, 250, 251 
Agricultural Station, 169, 

248, 249 

Aliens, Rights of, 229, 230 

Civil War, 72 

Civil War raft, 202, 203 

Continental Congress, 37, 

48, 49, 52 

Prisoners, 50, 51, 63, 65 
Revolution, 36 
Ships captured, 50, 62, 63, 


War of 1812, 58 
Aquarium, 183, 184, 267, 

268 3 269 

Argall, Captain, 19 
Assembly, General, 25, 32, 
36, 45, 50, 51, 52, 58, 
59, 148 
Assembly, House of, 173, 

174, 228, 233, 234 
Automobiles, 150, 151, 158 

Bahamas, 34 

Bailey's Bay, 186 

Banks, 170 

Barnum, Phineas T., 269, 270 

Barton, Otis, 266 

Bartram, John T., 272 

Bassett, Sarah, 169, 170 

Bathing, 221, 222 

Bathysphere dives, 266, 267 

Beebe, William, 206, 260, 
264, 265, 266, 267 

Area of, 109 
Climate, 111, 112 
Courts, 237, 238, 239 
Early names for, 7, 8 
Education, 254, 255 
Electors, 229 

Franchise, 228 
Geographical position, 

111, 255 
Great War, part in, 103- 

Method of government, 

Origin of, 108 
Parishes, 24, 25 
Population, 227 
Revenue, 231, 232 
Taxation, 229 
Bermuda Company, 23, 24, 

25, 26, 28, 31 
Bermuda Historical Society. 


Bermuda Hundred, 23 
Bermuda Natural History 

Society, 176, 261, 264 
Bermuda's development, 


Bermudez, Juan do, 7, 21 
Biological Station, 190, 258, 

261, 262, 263, 264 
Blackburn, Dr. Luke P., 07, 

99, 100 
American Consul, 78, 80, 

85, 98, 99 

Captains, 88, 89, 90 
Cargoes, 85, 90, 93 
Confederate agents, 83, 85 
Confederate Cruisers, 73, 

78, 91, 92, 93 
Confederate flag saluted, 

91, 92 
Federal cruisers, 73, 74, 

75, 78, 79, 80, 81, 91 
Runners, 75, 76, 80, 81, 
83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 
90, 94, 100, 101 
Wages, 77 

Boer prisoners, 179, 180 
Braine, John C., 95, 96, 97 




Browne, Gov. William, 58, 

59, 60, 194 
Bristol, Charles L., 258, 261, 

264, 269 

Bruere, Gov. George, 51 
Bruere, Gov. George James, 

44, 46, 50 

Buildings Bay, 16, 200 
Butler, Gov., 19, 141, 142, 

192, 205 
Butler, John, 266 

Caliow, 187, 188 
Camelo, Hernaido, 8, 9 
Carter, Christopher, 16, 22, 


Carter, Samuel, 22 
Castle Harbour, 50, 203, 204 
Cathedral Rocks, 163 
Cathedral, The, 172, 173 
Causeway, The, 190 
Caves, 186, 187, 188, 189 
Cenotaph, 174 
Challenger Expedition, 257 
Chard, Edward, 22 
Churches, 163, 165, 166, 167, 

169, 172, 173, 181, 186, 

192, 199 
Cooke, Gov. (of Rhode 

Island), 38, 40, 43, 48 
Colonial Parliament, 232 
Communications, 244 
Conklin, Edwin G., 258 
Convicts, 69, 70, 160 
Executive, 233 
Legislative, 233, 234 
Council Chamher, 174, 175 
Cycling, 149, 200 

Damon, W. E., 269, 270 
Deane, Silas, 52 
Be La Warr, Lord, 13, 19 
Deliverance, ship, 17 
Devil's Hole, 184, 185 
Devonshire Parish, 180, 181, 

Dockyard, 160 
D'Oviedo, Gonzales Ferdi- 
nando, 7 

Ecclesiastical struggles, 28, 

Fishing, 218-221 
Flatt's Village, 183 
Flora, 115, 116, 117 
Frubhusher, Richard, 16, 17 

Gardens, 120, 140 

Gates, Sir Thomas, 13, 16, 

Gibb's Hill Lighthouse, 164, 


Golf, 223-225 
Gosling, F. Goodwin, 264 
Government Hill, 44, 198 
Government House, 178 
Governor, The, 227 
Great Sound, 179, 180 
Great War, 103 
Gulf Stream, 1, 8, 111 

Hamilton, City of, 76, 101, 

110, 169-180 

Hamilton Parish, 183-190 
Hancock, John, 52 
Harrington Sound, 184 
Hog money, 15 
Hogs, 10, 15 
Horse Racing, 225 
Horses, 149, 150 
Hotels, 168, 171, 172, 182, 

183, 245 
Houses, 119, 120, 140, 158, 

Howells, William Dean, 137, 


Indian prisoners, 30 
Irving, Washington, 22, 121 

Agar's, 107 

Boaz, 160, 161 

Castle, 204, 205 



Coney, 155 

Cooper's, 206 

Cross, 161 

Great Sound, 177, 179 

Ireland, 160, 161 

Longbird, 190 

Main, 24, 159 

Nonsuch, 206, 264 

Number of, 113 

Smith's, 22 

Somerset, 162, 163 

St. David's, 200, 201, 202, 

203, 204 
Watford, 160, 161 

Jamestown, 18, 19 
Jordan, Silvanus, 12 

King Edward VII Hospital, 


Kings, The Three, 22, 121 
Kipling, Rudyard, 124 

Lafayette, Marquis de, 53 
Law Courts, 173, 174, 237, 

238, 239 
Lefroy, General J. EL, 12, 

21, 25, 27, 121, 123 
Literary Associations, 121 

Mangrove Bay, 45, 162 
Mark, Edward L., 258, 261, 


Marvel, Andrew, 1, 128, 129 
May, Henry, 9, 10 
Meteorological Station, 192, 

199, 270, 271, 272 
Mid-Ocean Colony, 182 
" Moore, Gov. Richard, 21, 22, 

23, 192, 204, 205 
Moore, Thomas, 129, 130, 

131, 132, 133, 134, 135 
Morris, Robert, 47 
Mowbray, Louis L., 188, 267 

Nassau, 76, 84, 94, 100 
Naval tanks, 44 200 

Newport Captain, 13, 18 
Newspapers, 59, 170 
North Rock, 44, 199 
Norwood, Richard, 24 
O'Neill, Eugene, 166 
Ord, Captain George, 45, 46, 

47, 162, 198 
Ord, Gov. H. St. G., 78, 79, 

81, 82 

Paget, 168, 169 

Parishes, 24, 25, 162, 163, 

166, 168, 169, 180, 183, 


Patience, ship, 17 
Pembroke, 169-180 
Plough, ship, 21, 22 
Popple, Gov. Alured, 195, 

Powder episode, 38, 39, 40, 

41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 

47, 198 
Privateers, 35, 49, 50, 51, 

60, 61, 62 
Prospect, 180 
Public Buildings, 174, 175 
Public Library, 175 

Quarries, 118 

Railway, 148-157 
Raven, Henry, 16 
Raynal, Abb<, 53 
Rebellion, 29 
Religion, 28, 29 
Reid, Gov. William, 69 
Roads, 148, 149, 160 
Roanoke, ship, 96 

Salt Trade, 32, 33 
Sandys Parish, 162 
Scenery, 115, 116, 117, 118 
Scientific Research, Centre 

of, 257-272 
Sea gardens, 113, 114 
Sea Venture Flat, 14 
Sea Venture, ship, 12, 13, 

15, 18 



Sessions House, 173 
Settlers, first, 21 
Shakespeare's "Tempest", 

121, 122, 123, 124, 125 
Shipping, 32, 34, 60, 61, 66, 

67, 241, 242, 243, 245 
Slavery 30, 67, 68, 69 
Smith, John, 12, 23, 205 
Smith's Parish, 180, 131, 

Social Conditions, 28, 29, 


Somerset, 162, 163 
Somers, Garden, 11, 197 
Somers Islands, 20 
Somers, Matthew, 19, 21, 22 
Somers, Sir George, 11, 12, 

13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 
20, 121, 163, 197 

Southampton, 163, 164, 165, 

Spanish Point, 161 

Spanish Rock, 8, 9, 181, 182 

Sports, 207-226 

St. David's Lighthouse, 203 

Stephenson, John, 196, 198 

St. George's, 11, 14, 19, 22, 
44, 45, 69, 73, 76, 80, 
95 5 98, 100, 101, 110, 
132, 190-200. 

St. George's Historical So- 
ciety, 198 

St. Peter's Church, 192, 193, 

Strachy, William, 12, 13, 

14, 17 
Streights, The, 23 

Tabb, Father John B., 139 
Taft, William H., 232 
Tennis, 223 
Tobacco, 26, 27 
Tourist trade, 243, 244, 245 
Town Cut Channel, 16, 192, 

Treasure trove, 161, 206, 

Trollope, Anthony, 135, 136, 


Tucker, Daniell, 24 
Tucker, Henry, 52 
Tucker's Town, 182 
Turk's Island, 32, 33, 34 
Twain, Mark, 119, 137, 138 

United States Navy, 106, 

Victoria Park, 103, 176 
Virginia, 11, 12, 15, 18, 19 
Virginia Company, 21, 23 
Virginiola, 21 

Waller, Edmund, 54, 125, 

126, 127 

Walsingham, 185, 186 
Warner, Charles Dudley, 

137, 138 

Warwick, 166, 167 
Washington, George, 38, 39, 

40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 48 
Waters, Edward, 16, 22 
Water supply, 251, 252, 253, 

Watlington, Sir Henry, 252, 

253, 254 
Whipple, Captain Abraham, 

40, 42, 43, 44, 48 
WMtefield, George, 167 
Wilkes, Admiral Charles, 

78, 79, 80, 81, 82 
Wilkinson, Captain John, 

90, 92, 93, 94, 139 
Wilmington, N. C., 84, 86, 

93, 94, 100 

Wilson, Woodrow, 168 
Witchcraft, 30 

Yachting, 209-218 
Yellow fever clothing epi- 
sode, 98, 99